UNICEF said that one in four children in Mauritania live in absolute poverty.
The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) allocated $100,000 worth of emergency aid in response to disastrous floods in Mauritania, the Qatari entity announced on Wednesday.
The relief efforts include the distribution of 300 tents with basic supplies along with 300 food packages containing 40kg of basic foodstuffs including grains, sugar and vegetable oil.
QRCS will also distribute 300 kits of non-food items, including blankets and hygiene material, in addition to primary health care services. The aid will target Nbeika Town, Guerou Department, and Ayoun Al-Atrous Town, benefitting 1,800 people.
Heavy rains hit several areas in Mauritania between 25 July and 3 August, causing floods in the three areas receiving the QRCS aid. The floods caused material damage in 4,351 households, impacting 28,926 people.
At least 14 people, mostly children, were killed by the floods, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said on Tuesday. It noted that 3,817 houses were destroyed, and reported a loss of 766 cattle.
“Floods have severely hit many villages and communities in three regions of Mauritania, damaged roads and blocked the transportation of people and goods, and caused large-scale destruction to infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and dams,” said QRCS.
The floods affected basic public water resources in communities that heavily depend on water wells, raising the risk of contamination.
“Hygiene conditions, access to potable water sources has become difficult for many families in the affected areas,” said the International Federation of Red Cross.
Interruptions in communication and electricity were reported due to the disaster, with most areas unable to access the services for three-to-four days.
Mauritania has high populations of disadvantaged communities, despite its economic growth.
In December, UNICEF said that one in four children in Mauritania live in absolute poverty, as 80% of children experience a level of violence. Three-in-10 suffer from drought, floods or severe acute malnutrition.
The humanitarian agency said $18.9 million is required to meet the humanitarian needs of Mauritania’s children. Out of the total amount, $6.4 million is needed for an adequate response to malnutrition.
Mauritania also hosts the largest population of Malian refugees in the Sahel region. According to UNICEF, more than 67,466 Malian refugees live in and around the M’Berra camp.