About the Country

Mauritania, located in West Africa, is one of the world’s poorest countries and is ranked 156 out of 188 on the 2015 UNDP Human Development Index.  It has a population of 3.5 million people (July 2014 Est), half of whom depend on livestock and agriculture for a livelihood.  The southern area of the country is part of the Sahel region, which also includes Chad, Mali, Gambia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Niger.  According to the World Food Programme (WFP), the Sahel is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate variation, drought and unpredictable rainfall.