Projects — Mauritania

International Food Relief Partnership


Poverty exacerbates malnutrition and food insecurity

In Mauritania, as in the other countries of the Sahel, the nutritional situation remains worrying with about 26% of the population affected by food insecurity. 

Closely linked to poverty, food insecurity is predominantly rural, and the most vulnerable groups are women and young children (with 20 percent of children under five suffering from chronic malnutrition and emergency thresholds for acute malnutrition regularly exceeded during lean seasons and further impacted by flooding in 2019 and 2022). 

Counterpart is established in the rural Gorgol region as the implementer of the USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition programs and has identified more than 10,000 pregnant and lactating women in this region. The USAID International Food Relief Partnership program supports more than 2,000 women in this group who are receiving take-home rations from the McGovern-Dole programs leveraging Counterpart’s resources to deliver impactful support to our community members. Throughout these interventions and others in the region, Counterpart along with support of USAID and USDA, works with women in the region to ensure healthy and impactful difference in their pregnancy, early motherhood and for children under the age of five. 


Children and their families receive food through the project.


Fighting malnutrition through education and access to nutritious foods

Through the IRFP project, Counterpart intends to contribute to the reduction of malnutrition in the most vulnerable communities in Mauritania by contributing to:  

  • Improving access to nutritious food for 1,905 pregnant women, 1,880 lactating mothers, 3,180 children under five years of age, and 86 community workers in 86 communities in the Gorgol region 
  • Strengthening nutritional knowledge of community workers, pregnant women and lactating mothers in 86 communities in the Gorgol region 

Providing nutritious food improves livelihoods

  1. Pregnant and lactating women are given a nutritious food product called “Enov’Mum” which has been designed for pregnant and lactating women whose diet may provide energy but lacks varied and nutritious foods. This nutritional supplement allows them to meet their daily requirements in main micronutrients. Enov’Mum contains essential fatty acids and the recommended daily nutrient intake in multiple micronutrients that are often lacking in common diets. The objective is to have a positive effect on the maternal nutritional status of pregnant women to encourage future growth of children born. 
  2. Children under five years of age are given another supplement called Harvest Lentil Pro that is comprised of dried carrots, onions, rice, and lentils. The food is specially formulated to deliver micronutrients, offers a long shelf life without refrigeration, and is easy to prepare in a variety of ways. 
United States Agency for International Development