4 March 2013: Since February 2012, more than 54,117 Malian refugees have crossed the border into Mauritania. The French-led military campaign in Mali in January 2013 significantly increased the number of Malian refugees seeking refuge in south-eastern Mauritania. Mauritania—one of the region’s poorest nations—was severely affected by the drought in 2012. Therefore, the Malian refugees add a new dimension to Mauritania’s humanitarian challenges.
In response, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided a rapid response grant of US$4,470,372 to seven UN agencies.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received $692,947 to ensure water and sanitary and hygiene facilities. The UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR) received $85,707 to support human rights efforts. By providing shelter, infrastructure, camp management and access to food, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will protect Malian refugees through an allocation of $2,178,453.
The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) received $334,568 to prevent complications in pregnancy and childbirth. UNFPA will also strengthen the medical care of children with severe acute malnutrition.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) received $185,753 to preserve Malian refugees’ livelihoods, and the World Food Programme (WFP) received $818,779 to provide food and nutritional assistance. Through an allocation of $174,165, the World Health Organization (WHO) will strengthen the prioritization of refugees’ health needs. The allocations are expected to benefit 25,000 people.