Presence in the country:

» VSF Italy


 2017 FACTS:



 1 850

Direct beneficiaries

 1 155

Animals treated


Community Animal Health Workers trained

1 145

Animals distributed to poor households

Mauritania is one of the Sahel countries most exposed to the effects of desertification and to the impact of climate change (reduced vegetation cover, rainfall fluctuations, soil erosion, etc.). The territory is mainly arid, with 75% constituting the Sahara desert.

The economy, is characterized by the coexistence of a modern economy (mining, extractive industry, fishing), and a subsistence economy, mainly based on rain-fed agriculture, livestock and related activities, and artisanal fisheries. Poverty remains a rural phenomenon: nearly 60% of rural people live below the poverty line, and 2/3 of them are women.

Livestock is the main activity of the rural population. It is, in the majority of cases, of extensive pastoral type, but we have been witnessing for some years now an evolution towards other forms (sedentary and peri-urban livestock systems). Pastoral systems cover all rural areas of the country, and play a major role in the fight against poverty and the exploitation of available natural resources in arid lands.

Nonetheless, a number of constraints exist, that are reducing access to pastoral resources and pastoralist mobility, including: recurrent drought-related climatic crises, epizootics and cross-border social crises, the lack of water infrastructure, and the deficit of market access infrastructures and marketing.

VSF Italy is active in the northern region of Tiris Zemmour.


What we do:


  • Promotion of crop and livestock farming by strengthening the local farmers’ associations and the public Regional Veterinary Service;
  • Establishment of a coordination system for development and humanitarian interventions, by putting in place early warning systems and a program of social transfers (in cash or in kind).


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