CHALLENGE

While 75% of the population in Mauritania depends on subsistence agriculture and pastoralism, the country has been facing drought exacerbated by climate change which has resulted in chronic food deficit. Over the past five  years, food insecurity rates have hovered between 25 to 30% in the lean season. Food inaccessibility impacts the health and education of young children hindering their potential for growth, prosperity, and success. Such challenges of nutrition, health, and literacy are closely connected, and will all be addressed by Counterpart’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program – The Future is Ours.

PROMISE

Counterpart International and a team of local partners (ARED, EcoDev, and ONG Actions) will implement the USDA- funded five-year program (2019 – 2024) – The Future is Ours – to assist the Government of Mauritania to reduce hunger, improve health, and strengthen the primary education system. Implemented in Brakna and Gorgol, the program will serve 209 schools through integrated activities aligned with national education and health policies. Counterpart will work with schools, parents’ associations, community members, NGOs, and government agencies to:

• IMPROVE student attendance rates by providing nutritious daily school meals across 209 targeted primary schools;
• ENHANCE health and dietary practices by providing access to deworming medications and increasing knowledge of nutrition, and safe food preparation and storage practices;
• IMPROVE school infrastructure and increase access to clean water and sanitation by building storerooms, latrines, and water station systems;
• IMPROVE the literacy of school age children through the implementation of a multi-layered pilot program;
• IMPROVE school governance through strengthened community participation;
• INCREASE capacity of national stakeholders to ameliorate the quality of the primary school system; and
• STRENGTHEN capacity of local and national stakeholders to lead and maintain school feeding programs.

IMPACT

While implementing activities in the sectors of education, nutrition, health, water and sanitation, Counterpart and local partners plan to meet the following targets over the life of the project:

• DISTRIBUTE over 48.5 million meals to 115,085 of students;
• PROVIDE 209 schools with improved water sources and sanitation facilities, and stoves;
• TRAIN 5,554 individuals in safe food preparation and storage;
• PROVIDE deworming medication to 115,085 school children;
• TRAIN 3,964 individuals in child health and nutrition;
• REACH 1,142 pregnant women and 3,427 children under five with nutrition-specific interventions; and
• TRAIN 576 teachers, school administrators, and government officials in management and literacy.

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