In 2013, UNICEF and partners plan for:
cases of severe malnutrition are being treated
children under 5 suffering from diarrhoea, malaria, measles, and acute respiratory infection are being treated
refugees benefit from Water, Sanitation and Hygiene activities
2013 requirements (US$)
Update of Humanitarian Situation
Mauritania is facing a double emergency with a deteriorating nutritional situation − overlapping with a major refugee influx from Mali − affecting children and community livelihood. Mauritania is the single largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Northern Mali. 75,261 refugees1 are living in the Mbéra camp, a remote desert location on the border with Mali with significant security challenges. 58% of the refugees are children and many have been in the camp for over a year, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium term needs. In 2013, the expected national caseload of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is 122,719 children under five years, including 23,901 cases of SAM.
As a result of the nutrition crisis, a rapid assessment in 2012 in six regions showed a worsening socio-economic situation and growing risks. The crisis has impacted household cohesion: 30 per cent of families experienced the loss of family members, had their children drop out of school, and used negative coping mechanisms, such as early marriage and child labour. Refugee adolescents remain vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and recruitment into armed groups. The nutrition crisis and the insufficient access to health services especially affect children under 5, and pregnant and lactating women who are the most vulnerable. In addition, epidemics threaten more than 65,000 children in regions affected by the nutritional crisis. Acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea and malaria remain the major health risks for children.
Planned Results for 2013
2013 Programme Targets
- 23,901 cases of severe malnutrition treated
- 488 health facilities supported to scale the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition protocol (scale- up from 291)
- 50,616 (80 per cent of 63,270) children under 5 suffering from diarrhoea, malaria, measles, and acute respiratory infection treated
- 17,724 under one immunized against measles
- 10,000 host community members provided with safe water and hygiene promotion
- 75,000 refugees benefit from WASH activities per agreed standards
- 23,901 children under 5 affected by SAM receive the minimum WASH package and benefit from hygiene promotion activities
- 291 nutritional centres benefit from a minimum WASH package
- 7,700 emergency affected refugee children are provided with psychosocial support at child friendly spaces
- 15,400 children affected by the nutrition crisis are provided with psychosocial support at child friendly spaces
- 6,000 malnourished children affected by the nutrition crisis are provided with psychosocial support at child friendly spaces
- 40 child friendly spaces are established at nutrition centres
- 31,300 children will benefit from continued access to formal and non-formal education
HIV and AIDS
- 280 HIV-positive pregnant women referred for therapy and supported to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV and 65 children under 5 with SAM referred for treatment.
In nutrition and health, UNICEF will target children under 5 affected by acute malnutrition (23,901 cases of SAM treated) and pregnant and lactating women. The programme includes the strengthening of health-service capacities through scaling-up the management of malnutrition, as well as community case management of common diseases; the provision of micronutrient supplementation; and the promotion of caring practices at family level. UNICEF will reinforce immunization services supporting the
immunization of over 17,000 children under one and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV through the referral of and support for 280 HIV-positive pregnant women. In addition to the ongoing support and partnership of WASH services for refugees and host communities, the ‘WASH in Nutrition’ approach will cover nutrition centres, providing provide severely malnourished children with a minimum WASH package. The establishment of child-friendly spaces in the refugee camp and in nutrition centres will provide psychosocial support for 7,700 refugee children, 6,000 malnourished children and their mothers. UNICEF education interventions will support 31,300 refugee children with access to quality learning opportunities, including through temporary learning infrastructure. In all sectors (nutrition, health, WASH, education and child protection), UNICEF, in collaboration with the Government and other partners, will continue to support capacity building, coordination between stakeholders, communication, management of information systems and the documentation of humanitarian action at national and local levels. UNICEF is bolstering its response in the remote south east of the country with the establishment of a sub-office in Bassikounou to support the multisectoral response to the refugees and host communities.
Results from January to June 2013
From January to June 2013, 2,019 refugee children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition have been treated (55% of the expected annual caseload), including 218 cases of SAM with medical complications. Nationally, more than 4,368 children with SAM have received treatment. UNICEF continues to make valuable contributions to WASH activities. In the Mbéra camp, materials have been provided to enhance sanitation in public places and at latrines covering 37,500 people in order to reduce the possibility of an epidemic. A multisectorial package of services, including health and ‘WASH in Nut’ interventions is being scaled up from 291 to all 488 nutrition centres which will reinforce nutrition outcomes. Across six regions in Mauritania, 23,812 mothers and children have benefitted from hygiene promotion programming. A national ‘Child Health Week’ in April resulted in the immunisation of 16,688 children under 5 years, of which 2,915 were under 1 year, in the refugee camp and host communities. The follow-up round of vaccinations reached 1,951 women of child bearing age and 16,332 under 5 years, including 1,936 under 1 year. Vaccination coverage against measles for children under 5 is now 98.7% in Mbéra camp. With support from partners, psychosocial support services have been provided to 5,000 refugee children at six child friendly spaces over the last six months. In addition, 4,851 malnourished children (SAM and MAM) received emotional support through programming to reinforce the mother-child connection in seven nutrition centres. 3,161 children have received non-food items including clothes and blankets. In response to the nutrition crisis during the first 6 months of 2013, UNICEF and partners have supported emotional stimulation care for 3,051 malnourished children under 5 years old, including children with SAM. In addition, 6,155 children aged 3-17 years attended psychosocial activities organised in 41 child friendly spaces. UNICEF, in coordination with UNHCR and partners, are providing formal and non-formal education in the camp to 7,166 refugee children (49% girls). School tents, supplies and textbooks have been provided for all the students. The literacy programme targeting 13 to 17 year olds gave 527 youth (71% girls) a chance to ‘catch-up’ with 13 teachers (100% refugees). An education response for the nutrition crisis is also under development. A programme to monitor the nutritional status of students, as well as increase awareness of malnutrition in parents associations and school management, through local NGOs is being finalised.
UNICEF Funding Requirements for 2013 (29 July 2013)
UNICEF requires US$20,222,932 to respond to the humanitarian needs of children in Mauritania in 2013, of which US$16,850,981 are included in the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) mid-year review. The increase of US$1,336,996 is based on additional needs for the establishment of a new sub-office in Bassikounou to meet the needs of children in the refugee camp and host communities. The lack of funding for vital humanitarian activities will impede progress and limit the intervention capacities with major risks for children.
1 http://data.unhcr.org/SahelSituation/country.php?id=132, updated 30 June 2013