Main Menu
Street Children
Human Trafficking


Poverty & Hunger

Islamic Republic of


In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Mauritania

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Mauritania in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** Extreme Weather ***

More than 29 million people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti, Mauritania, and Niger continue to face unrelenting drought conditions. These prolonged dry spells pose significant challenges to agriculture, water availability, and food security.adapted from Microsoft BING Copilot

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Mauritania

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 3 January 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 6 January 2021]

Mauritania's economy is dominated by extractive industries (oil and mines), fisheries, livestock, agriculture, and services. Half the population still depends on farming and raising livestock, even though many nomads and subsistence farmers were forced into the cities by recurrent droughts in the 1970s, 1980s, 2000s, and 2017.

GDP - per capita (PPP): $4,500 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 50%

industry: 1.9%

services: 48.1% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate: 10.2% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 31% (2014 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 766 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 47.9 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 64.5 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 84.4% of population

Physicians density: 0.18 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 56% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 41.7% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Mauritania

[accessed 21 February 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Combating Child Poverty In Mauritania

~ Force-Feeding In West Africa: 5 Facts About Leblouh In Mauritania

~ 5 Facts About Healthcare In Mauritania

~ Poverty In Mauritania And How It Is Being Reversed

~ 10 Facts About Sanitation In Mauritania

~ Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions In Mauritania

~ Sustainable Agriculture In Mauritania

Conflict, climate change, and COVID-19 drive extreme hunger

Oxfam, 9 July 2021

[accessed 19 July 2021]

The effects of conflict, COVID-19, and climate change have intensified the global hunger crisis.

WEST AFRICAN SAHEL - DRIVERS OF HUNGER: CONFLICT -- The region encompassing Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal has seen a 67 percent increase in hunger since last year. Continued violence has forced 5.3 million people to flee their homes. Insecurity has cut off farmers from their agriculture. Last year, along with the economic impact of COVID-19, the climate crisis disrupted the agricultural season, limiting stocks and people’s livelihoods.

The Sahel struggles with terror, poverty and climate change

The Arab Weekly, 18 March 2021

[accessed 18 March 2021]

Internal displacement had increased 20-fold in less than two years while the number of families facing hunger has tripled.

The United Nations warned in November of a heightened risk of famine in Burkina Faso, along with northeastern Nigeria and South Sudan and also of a high hunger risk in both Mali and Niger.

Problems have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Action Against Hunger - Mauritania

[accessed 21 March 2021]

Mauritania is a vast desert—less than one percent of its land is usable for agriculture. The climate leaves very little opportunity for farmers, and makes the country more dependent on food imported from other countries, making many Mauritanians vulnerable to fluctuating food prices and problems of supply. Beyond high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, Mauritania ranks poorly in terms of access to water and sanitation, as the majority of the country’s population is nomadic and has little regular access to basic necessities.

The country’s scarce resources are also being stretched thin by the growing number of refugees entering the country. In 2012, escalating violence in neighboring Mali forced more than 74,000 Malians to flee for their safety into Mauritania. Many Malians left their homes and livestock behind, arriving in Mauritania malnourished and dehydrated. Access to resources like food, water and land is crucial for the health and safety of both the refugee populations and host communities.

The World Bank in Mauritania

[accessed 21 April 2021]

The World Bank is supporting the government improve living standards through the following areas: mining and energy, rural development, urban development and more.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 3 January 2020]

While Mauritania is an agricultural country, historically largely dependent on livestock production, its significant iron ore deposits have been the backbone of the export economy in recent years. The droughts of the 1970s and 1980s transformed much of Mauritania, as the herds died off and the population shifted to urban areas. In 1960, 85% of the population lived as nomadic herders. By 1999, that percentage had fallen to 5%.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Prof. Martin Patt, "Poverty - Mauritania",, [accessed <date>]