Information by Country

Mauritania: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
Because 43 per cent of Mauritania’s total population is younger than age 15, efforts on behalf of children are vital to improving the country’s overall development prospects. Significant progress is being made, despite serious challenges such as a cholera outbreak, flooding around the city of Rosso and a military coup.

Issues facing children in Mauritania

  • Alarming numbers of children are severely malnourished. Poverty, natural disasters and a lack of basic nutritional knowledge have worsened the crisis.
  • Only 53 per cent of households have access to safe drinking water.
  • Diarrhoeal diseases, malaria and acute respiratory infections still claim the lives of many young children.
  • Recent National Immunization Day campaigns have been hampered by a lack of sufficient funds and vehicles. The cold chain equipment used to preserve vaccines is poorly managed and maintained.
  • Landmines and unexploded ordnance remaining from the Saharawi war pose a hazard to children in the northern part of the country.


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