About Mauritania

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is located in the northwest of Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali, and Senegal. The majority Muslim population of 4.1 million people is ethnically made up of Black and White Moors, Sub-Saharan Mauritanians, Halpulaar, Fulani, Soninke, Wolof, and Bambara ethnic groups. The official language is Arabic—however, French, Pular, Soninke, and Wolof are all widely spoken. About 90 percent of Mauritania’s land area is located in the Sahara Desert, and large swaths of the country are completely uninhabited. Most of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with about half the people living near and in the capital, Nouakchott.

Mauritania was a French colony until it gained independence in 1960. A series of coups, periods of authoritarian military rule, and instability followed, and the country has often been criticized for a poor human rights record. There is little arable land in Mauritania but large expanses of pastoral land. As such, much of the economy is based on livestock and some agriculture, with other major industries being mining of iron ore, petroleum production, and fishing. The economy is vulnerable to international prices on food and commodities. Other risks include environmental fluctuations, such as drought in an already arid country. Mauritania relies heavily on foreign aid and investment: Approximately 31 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, with 10 percent of the population facing unemployment.

Mauritania has experienced a drastic rise in mortality due to malaria between 2009 and 2019, with the rate of death increasing by over 400 percent. Other leading causes of death include neonatal disorders, ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, stroke, road injuries, diabetes, cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease, maternal disorders, and tuberculosis. The risk factors that contribute most to deaths and disabilities include malnutrition, air pollution, high blood pressure, high body-mass index, dietary risks, high fasting plasma glucose, tobacco use, kidney dysfunction, non-optimal temperatures, and a lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene.

Nonprofit Landscape

Healthcare Nonprofits in Mauritania

View 71 Nonprofit Organizations

Top Healthcare Specialties



Life Expectancy

/ 100k

Physician Density

/ 100k

Hospital Bed Density

/ 100k

Maternal Mortality
NonprofitsVolunteeringHealthcare FacilitiesInsights

Copyright © 2024 Virtue Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

Terms of service