Why are we there?

  • Armed conflict
  • Access to health care

Mauritania: Latest MSF Updates

Our Work

This is an extract from MSF's 2014 International Activity Report:

More than 51,000 Malian refugees in Mauritania’s Mbera refugee camp are almost entirely dependent on international aid for survival and many don’t have adequate food or 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 largely absent from the region. Armed groups splintered while violent attacks and banditry dissuaded refugees from returning home. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides basic and emergency health care, 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 2014, the majority of the life-saving surgical procedures were Caesarean sections and visceral and orthopedic surgery.

At the end of 2014, MSF had 346 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