Why are we there?

  • Armed conflict
  • Access to health care

Mauritania: Latest MSF Updates


Our Work

This is an extract from MSF's 2015 International Activity Report:

There are approximately 50,000 Malian refugees living in Mauritania’s Mbera refugee camp. They are almost entirely dependent on international aid for survival, and many lack adequate food and shelter.

The political and security crisis in Mali in 2013 forced thousands of Malians to flee across the border to Mauritania. Despite the initiation of a peace process in 2014, northern Mali remained so insecure that government services were and are largely absent in the region. Armed groups splintered while violent attacks and banditry dissuaded refugees from returning home.

MSF provides basic and emergency healthcare, and gynecological and obstetric services for the refugees in Mbera camp and for the host communities in nearby Bassikounou and Fassala. By supporting the government clinics and hospitals, MSF has ensured that everyone in the economically marginalized area has access to free medical care for the first time. In 2015, cesarean sections and visceral and orthopedic surgeries represented the majority of the life-saving surgical procedures performed by MSF teams in the region.

At the end of 2015, MSF had 370 staff in Mauritania. MSF has worked in the country since 1994.

Patient story

Azarra*, 40 years old, from Timbuktu

"It took us two days to arrive in Fassala; we were tired but we were alive and safe. That was the most important thing. Now, we have to adapt to life in Mbera camp but it is very difficult for us … I was poor in Mali but here it is even worse, I have absolutely nothing and I feel like a complete stranger, far from my own country. I want peace to return to the north so that I can finally go back home."

* Name has been changed