Mauritania is the single largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Mali. 74,148 refugees are living in the Mbéra camp.
60% of the refugees are children and many have been in the camp for over a year, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium term needs.
Refugee children face a range of threats to their health, nutrition, education and family lives. Many have experienced severe trauma and are suffering from malnutrition and need specialised attention and care.
UNICEF, in coordination with UNHCR and partners, are providing education in the camp for 7,070 children (49% girls) in six schools and psychosocial stimulation for 1,028 children at four child friendly spaces. Since 2012, 1,538 children have been treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
A ‘Child Health Week’ focused on children under five in the camp and host communities immunization and malnutrition screening as part of African Vaccination Week.
Communities hosting the refugees are very poor and suffer high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. UNICEF is helping to reinforce basic services, including malnutrition treatment.
More resources are needed to fill gaps, including almost 10,000 children, more than half of the school age children in the camp, not getting an education.
In 2013, the expected national caseload of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is 122,719 children under five years, including 23,901 cases of SAM. The post-harvest GAM prevalence was 5.6% and is expected to increase significantly in the summer lean season.
Preventative blanket feeding, cash transfers and programmes to build longer term resilience are all being planned and will be implemented from May, ahead of the lean season. A multi- sectorial package of services is being scaled up from 291 to all 488 nutrition centres as part of the response to high rates of malnutrition.