Nouakchott, 29 July 2022 (TDI): The United States of America (USA) provided $11 million in aid to Mauritania as economic and humanitarian assistance to combat food insecurity.

USA is donating $6 million in new humanitarian aid and $5 million in economic support through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mauritania has nearly 680,000 people suffering from a severe food crisis. It is the highest level of food insecurity in ten years in this country.

Poor rainfall in Mauritania in 2021 has made it harder for needy families to meet their basic food needs. This difficulty has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and COVID-19.

The drought has had the worst effects on communities in southern Mauritania. Farmers suffered through significant crop losses and pastoralists took their livestock in search of food and better living circumstances.

Mauritania has nearly 87,000 refugees, most of whom left the strife and violence in neighboring Mali. These people depend on humanitarian food aid to meet their daily needs.

How USAID would help Mauritania?

Nearly 150,000 people will receive emergency food assistance by the approved grant. For refugees residing in the Mbera refugee camp, USAID will offer cash assistance.

This will be enabling families who are going hungry to buy basic foods from nearby markets and boost the local economy.

Cash support from USAID will also assist disadvantaged, drought-affected Mauritanians in purchasing enough food for survival.

Availability of food would avoid resorting to unhealthy coping techniques like selling reproductive cattle and forced relocation.

USAID’s economic support will strengthen current social protection and safety nets by increasing youth employment skills and market access opportunities. This will improve the management of short and long-term food security shocks.