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|2020 planning figures|
|100%||of primary school-aged Malian refugee children will be enrolled in primary education|
|100%||of refugee children under 12 months old will have their birth certificates issued by the authorities|
|39%||of Malian refugees (18-59 years) will have increased self-reliance through own business or self-employment|
|15%||of refugee and asylum-seeker youth (15-24 years) in urban areas will be enrolled in certified livelihoods training|
|2018 year-end results|
|5,900||new arrivals registered at Mbera camp during the year|
|500||children registered in primary and secondary education for the 2018/2019 academic year|
|200||income-generating activities were set up for refugees and host communities in Mbera, as well as training programmes for more than 200 people|
|83||refugees from the Central African Republic, Senegal, and Syria departed for resettlement|
People of Concern
Working environmentMauritania has maintained its generous open-door policy towards refugees and asylum-seekers. Subject to the overall security situation remaining stable in the country and ongoing donor support, significant progress on refugee protection is possible, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees.
UNHCR provides protection and assistance to 57,000 Malian refugees in and around Mbera camp, and to some 2,800 refugees and asylum-seekers in the urban areas of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou. The majority of refugees originate from Mali, the Central African Republic, the Syrian Arab Republic and Côte d’Ivoire.
Signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and OAU Convention, Mauritania is expected to adopt a national asylum law in the near future. The law will pave the way for establishing an asylum procedure which will guarantee refugee rights, boost their self-reliance and incorporate them into national development plans. In the meantime, UNHCR works closely with national authorities, to promote knowledge of and respect for refugee rights.
The gradual shift from emergency to a protracted refugee situation calls for longer-term and more solutions-focused responses. Therefore, in 2020 UNHCR will continue to advocate with development actors and donors, with the aim of increasing self-reliance opportunities for refugees and their host communities.
Despite the return of approximatively 2,000 refugees to Mali at the beginning of 2019, large scale returns of Malian refugees are not expected in 2020, given the deteriorating situation in Mali.
In urban areas, UNHCR will continue to respond to the protection needs of refugees and asylum-seekers and support the Government of Mauritania to protect people of concern within mixed population movements. A survey conducted by UNHCR in 2019 has for the first time provided key data regarding refugee populations in Nouadhibou, which will inform UNHCR’s response in the area in 2020. Additionally, the beginning of out-of-camp registration for Malian refugees will likely increase the need for assistance and legal protection in urban areas.
UNHCR will continue to work closely with the Government of Mauritania, UN agencies, NGOs and donors under the umbrella of the UN Sustainable Development Partnership Framework, which integrates humanitarian and development interventions and includes a strategy to strengthen peaceful coexistence and self-reliance for refugees and host communities in Mauritania.
Key prioritiesUNHCR’s protection and solutions strategy for all refugees in Mauritania will focus on:
- Advocating with the authorities for the adoption of a national asylum law.
- Ensuring protection and access to essential services, by further enhancing registration and ensuring the issuance of birth certificates and identity documents for refugees by the Government.
- Advocating for the establishment of a health care system that includes refugees.
- Empowering refugees to become self-reliant.
- Promoting peaceful coexistence through impact projects in host villages around Mbera camp and conflict management and prevention structures.