Mauritania – 3rd Sitrep on the looming Crisis in the Sahel

Dear Partners,

Warmest greetings from Nouakchott, Mauritania!

LWF Mauritania – Weekly Update #3

February 20, 2012

Situation Report


Drought Crisis – The country emergency forum took place on Wednesday, February 15. The Government, UN agencies and NGOs (including LWF/DWS) attended the event. Four major points were discussed, including the update on ‘’EMEL’’ (Government emergency response plan), the situation of the Malian Refugees, results of food insecurity & nutrition surveys, and the country emergency team. It is worth mentioning that apart from this forum, UN Agencies and NGOs are fully involved in the process of emergency response planning and funds mobilization.

The Government has started implementing its emergency response plan. As a result 286 stops ‘’boutiques témoins’’ have been operated in the outskirts of Nouakchott. They have been supplied by the Government with imported food items (rice, oil, milk, sugar). At present, the Government is in the process of transporting food to rural areas using Army trucks. The identification of the most vulnerable households in rural areas is on-going. The identified households will benefit from the Government’s free distribution of food. It is expected that EMEL will contribute to the reduction of the current drought effects in terms of food availability and stabilization of food prices.

Malian Refugees – Last week, it has been noted that Malian Refugees continued to arrive in Fassala. The updated statistics as of February 8, 2012 for the Malian Refugees hosted in Fassala are given below (provided by the LWF/DWS Hodh Zone Coordinator):

Total number of Malian Refugees


Number of households


Number of children


Number of pregnant women


Number of children not immunized


Number of children partially immunized



The no. of new arrivals is estimated at 600 people/day. If this rate continues then more than 30,000 refugees are expected by the end of February. To ensure their protection and well being, the Government is rehabilitating Mbeur where the Malian Refugees will be relocated starting from March 1, 2012.

 Actions from LWF/DWS

  • The Country Representative attended country emergency forum around drought crisis and Malian Refugees
  • Maintaining regular contacts with the ELS (Lutheran Church of Senegal) regarding the plan for the joint emergency response
  • The Program Coordinator, the Emergency Specialist and the PME Team are in the South-eastern part of the country for field visits
  • Gathered data and information of the drought affected communities and people
  • Closely monitored the Malian Refugees situation [presence of the LWF/DWS Hodh Zone Coordinator and ARDM (LWF/DWS local implementing partner)]
  • Start preparing the NFI distribution to the Malian Refugees (new caseloads)
  • the ACT Appeal which will include support to drought affected populations (in Mauritania and in Senegal) and Malian refugees will be finalized in the coming week.

Actions from other Stakeholders

  • Oxfam carried out food security survey in Brakna and Gorgol
  • World Vision is working on a food for peace proposal to be implemented in Assaba
  • The Government has started the rehabilitation work of Mbeur, the new location the Malian Refugees (effective on March 1)
  • UN Security Unit has appointed the Security Officer in charge of Mbeur Region. The Government has reinforced security in the area by providing additional Gendarmes and logistics
  • UNHCR conducted an assessment and received US$3,000,000 for immediate needs. It has started to design the Mbeur camp
  • WFP is working on the possibility of having regular aviation service (UNHAS) for Humanitarian Staff and transportation of supplies.

Thanks so much for your continued support to LWF/DWS Mauritania.

Sincerely yours,

Kasongo Mutshaila,

LWF/DWS Mauritania Representative.

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