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Projects Includes planned, ongoing and closed projects

US$ 380.38 million

Total Project Cost

US$ 163.41 million

Total IFAD financing


Households impacted

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The Context

Mauritania spreads across 1,030,700 km2 of West Africa, more than two thirds of which is desert. Its 4 million people are rapidly urbanising, but half of the population derive their livelihoods from raising crops and livestock and fishing, according to World Bank 2013 data.

With an annual growth rate of 2.8 per cent in 2013, the population is very young, with 40 per cent under 15 years of age, 60 per cent under 25 and only 5 per cent over 60.

Firm prices for exports of oil, iron ore and copper delivered growth of up to 6.5 per cent a year in the 15 years until 2014, with improvements in fishing and farming.

Forty-one per cent of the population lives in rural areas, and half depend on agriculture for their income. Farming generates 25 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The national poverty rate fell from 51 per cent in 2000 to 31 per cent in 2014. But 74 per cent of the poor live in rural areas and in the south 44.4 per cent of people live in poverty, while nationwide more than a fifth of children under five suffer chronic malnutrition.

Mauritania is self-sufficient in red meat and fish, but imports 60 per cent of other staple foodstuffs, especially rice, vegetable, sugar and cooking oil.

Mauritania is highly vulnerable to climate change, which amplifies droughts and flooding, and damages pastureland and non-timber forest products. 

The Strategy

In Mauritania IFAD loans aim to improve food security and nutrition, increase the incomes of poor rural households, create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on food imports.

Activities target poor rural households with a special focus on women and young people.

IFAD’s country strategy and approach has three main objectives:

  • reducing food and nutrition insecurity by promoting adoption of competitive production models, adapted to climate change and natural resources;
  • strengthening institutions which represent the rural poor; and
  • supporting the development of dialogue between all stakeholders in value-chains that are being targeted.

Key activities include:

  • strengthening organizations and institutions capacities and supporting communal and local development;
  • promoting linkages between supply and demand through better performing and more inclusive value chains;
  • advising farmers, including women and youth, to improve their production models and adapt them to climate change, restoring soil and making better use of surface and ground water. 

Results-based country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) 
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Country Facts

  • With an estimated population of four million and a land area of 1,030,700 km2, the population density of Mauritania is among the lowest in the world.
  • Half of the population relies upon agriculture for its income, and farming generates 25 per cent of GDP.
  • Since 1980, IFAD has supported 14 programmes and projects in Mauritania, investing US$136.2 million and benefiting more than 190,470 rural households.

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Country documents

Note de Stratégie de Pays

Type: Country strategy note (CSN)
Region: West and Central Africa

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Related news

Support to smallholder farmers, women and youth on the agenda for discussions with Mauritanian President and Prime Minister

April 2018 - NEWS
Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), will meet Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, and other officials of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, to discuss how investment in agriculture can ensure food and nutrition security and create jobs for rural people, particularly women and youth.

Organizing farmers is crucial to feeding West and Central Africa and achieving global development goals

April 2018 - NEWS
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania are hosting a four-day forum that brings together policymakers, development practitioners, rural producers and farmers organizations to find ways to strengthen food security and poverty reduction at country and regional levels.

La Mauritanie et le FIDA lancent un nouveau projet de développement des filières inclusives pour combattre la faim et la pauvreté dans les zones rurales

May 2017 - NEWS
Le Fonds international de développement agricole (FIDA), agence spécialisée des Nations Unies et le gouvernement de la Mauritanie ont lancé officiellement le Projet de développement de filières inclusives (PRODEFI), ce jour 3 Mai 2017 à Nouakchott, la capitale de la Mauritanie. 

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Related publications

Investir dans les populations rurales en République islamique de Mauritanie

June 2019
Depuis 1980, le FIDA a financé 14 projets et programmes en Mauritanie pour un coût total de 342,3 millions d’USD, dont 136,2 millions d’USD octroyés sous la forme de dons ou de prêts concessionnels.

Introducing solar-powered pumping in the oases of Mauritania

July 2015
Under the Programme de Développement des Oasis (PDDO), the Government of Mauritania, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) have introduced and piloted solar-powered water pumping for agricultural use in the oases. 

Les petits barrages de décrue en Mauritanie: Recommandations pour la conception et la construction

July 2012

Ce manuel est un complément au “Manuel de suivi et d’entretien des petits barrages en Mauritanie” publié dans la même série.

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Related videos

Mauritania: Return to the Oasis