Mauritania, located in the arid Sahel region of West Africa, is one of the world’s least developed and poorest countries. The population numbers around 3 million, and the country is ranked 159 out of 187 on the 2011 UNDP Human Development Index. The southern strip of the country is part of the Sahel, where farmers and agro-pastoralists are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate variation, drought, and small-scale crises. In an area where the annual five to six month “lean season” always brings hunger and where rainfall is unpredictable, this has strained the resources of the rural poor. To compound these concurrent crises, Mauritania has been seriously affected this year by a food security crisis due to large deficits of the 2011 rainy season. Combined with increasing food prices, this situation has significantly decreased the income and purchasing power of the majority of the population and led to a sharp increase in food insecurity levels. The situation has worsened following on-going tensions and violent outbreaks in northern Mali that have forced over 63,000 Malians to flee their homes and seek refuge in Mauritania (Source: WFP)


  • Capital - Nouakchott
  • Population - 3,162,000
  • Currency - ouguiya (MRO)