LWR began working in Mauritania in 2012 through our partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF) specifically within the Mbera Refugee Camp located along the Mauritania-Mali border. In 2012, Mali witnessed a coup d’état on the heels of an escalation of armed conflict in northern Mali between Touareg-led MNLA (National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad), various Islamist militant groups and the Malian national armed forces. The MNLA and other Islamist factions gained control of virtually all of northern Mali which resulted in the displacement of the population. As of March 1, 2015, 52,404 Malian refugees representing 15,091 households are hosted in Mbera Refugee Camp .
From Relief to Recovery
In 2011 and 2012, Mauritania experienced an emergency situation caused by the drought which resulted in food insecurity and malnutrition. The Hodh El Charghi region was the most affected area. In addition to food insecurity and malnutrition, this region is characterized by the presence of Malian refugees. Many of these refugees face difficult conditions themselves and rely entirely on humanitarian assistance for survival and lack the skills or resources for livelihoods activities. The presence of refugees has put high pressure on scarce resources, including natural resources and social facilities and has generated social tensions between the refugees and host communities.
Through emergency programming, LWR and its partner LWF support both vulnerable Malian refugees and host communities to sustainably improve their livelihoods. This program not only contributes to strengthening Malian refugees’ self-reliance but also promotes a peaceful coexistence between refugees and the Mbera host communities. The targeted groups are learning appropriate techniques and skills on gardening and animal husbandry as well as the management of natural resources. Fresh produce, milk and meat will complement household food baskets and provide an important source of nutritious dietary diversity. Thanks to the market place in construction during the first phase of this project, supported farmers and pastoralists will have an opportunity to earn an income through the sale of surplus production.