The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Mauritania:
The Mauritanian people face serious health risks and many children suffer from diarrhoea and other diseases related to deteriorating environmental conditions. Around 2150 Mauritanians, including 1700 children under the age of 5 die each year from diarrhoeal disease. The WHO estimates that nearly 90% of these deaths are directly attributed to the poor quality of water, sanitation and lack of hygiene.
In 2008, the percentage of the population living at the poverty line was 42 percent, down from 51 percent in 2000. The shortages of food and water are the most detrimental obstacles in trying to alleviate poverty in Mauritania. In 2011, Mauritania was extensively affected by a severe drought that led to a steep increase in food prices, unsuccessful farming and a startling loss of livestock. This resulted in a food shortage, leaving 700,000 people in the midst of a food crisis, as of 2012.
The fact that Mauritania has a fertility rate of four children per woman, and that nearly 60 percent of the population is under the age of 25, leads many to believe the population of the Saharan nation will continue to grow, further complicating the process of dealing with common diseases in Mauritania. Mauritania ranks 166 out of 192 countries surveyed by the CIA when it comes to health care spending, and carries an extremely low physicians density of 0.13 physicians for every 1,000 people. Around 2150 Mauritanians, including 1,700 children under the age of five die each year from diarrheal disease.
- Acute Malnutrition
UNICEF also reported in a Humanitarian Situation Report that 24,521 children with severe acute malnutrition (11,770 girls and 12,751 boys) were admitted for treatment throughout Mauritania. This is 76 percent of the estimated 32,244 cases of severe acute malnutrition for 2018.