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.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provides basic and emergency healthcare, and gynaecological 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 marginalised 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 orthopaedic surgery.
No. staff in 2014: 346 | Expenditure: €4.4 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1994 | msf.org/mauritania