West Africa Food Crisis - focus on Mauritania
A woman cooking in a village in Brakna province; a region severely affected by the food crisis in Mauritania. (Photo/ Iñaqui Olozabal / Save the Children).
Mauritania remains one of the poorest countries in Western Africa and has been in a chronic state of food insecurity and malnutrition for decades.
Rainfall in 2011 was below average and short-lived. As a result, agricultural and pastoral production was below average. Grain prices are also above average and in March 2012 global food prices increased for the third month in a row, due to a multitude of reasons, including price speculation.
Families in Mauritania have not been able to grow enough food to eat, and they are also now unable to afford the food in the market.
Right now, the people of Mauritania face an unprecedented double emergency as refugees fleeing conflict in neighbouring country Mali cross into areas of south-eastern Mauritania where there is a food and nutrition crisis. Many thousands of children are affected by this crisis:
- 35,000 children are suffering global acute malnutrition (GAM)
- More than 5,000 of those children have severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
- As many as 90,000 children could suffer global acute malnutrition in 2012.
We need to act fast to save lives. Save the Children is already in Mauritania. We have worked with local partners organizations there since 2006 to deliver child protection and education programs.
Save the Children New Zealand is providing funds for our colleagues in Mauritania to help children affected by this food crisis in the Gorgol and Brakhna regions.
Led by Save the Children Spain, and working alongside local and international aid agencies, our emergency response aims to reach 59.000 children and families in affected regions with infant feeding practices and nutrition as well as continued education and child protection activities.
When humanitarian disasters strike we need to act fast to save lives. You can support the work of Save the Children in emergencies, such as the West Africa Food Crisis affecting countries in the Sahel region with a donation to our Children’s Emergency Fund.