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PRESS RELEASE March 10, 2020

Mauritania to Improve its Social Safety Net System

Investing in the next generation to break the poverty cycle

Washington, March 10, 2020 - The World Bank Group’s Board of Directors approved today two grants of total $52 million to support Mauritania to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the nationwide adaptive social safety net system and its coverage of poor and vulnerable households with targeted social transfers, including in refugee and host communities.   

The project supports the commitment of the Government of Mauritania to strengthen the adaptive safety net system as laid-out in its National Poverty Reduction Strategy 2016-2030 (Stratégie de la Croissance Accélérée et de la Prospérité Partagée).

For Laurent Msellati, World Bank Country Manager, “the project is aligned with our Country Partnership Framework, which focuses on building human capital for inclusive growth. It aims to expand the coverage of existing social protection programs and reach vulnerable people in the most fragile regions of the country, including refugees in the Hodhs at the Malian border.”

The project builds on the current Mauritania Social Safety Net System project launched in 2015 and will focus on: updating the Social Registry which provides an effective and transparent mechanism to target poor and vulnerable households; increasing the coverage of the National Social Transfer Program Tekavoul; and rolling out a shock-responsive Social Safety Net Program Elmaouna to reach food-insecure households during the lean season.

More than 290,000 people living in extreme poverty will benefit from Tekavoul and another 24,000 families will receive support from the shock-responsive cash transfers. The project will also help strengthen the capacity of the Taazour General Delegation and the Food Security Office (Commissariat à la Sécurité Alimentaire) to run the social safety net programs.

“In the short-term, the families will be able to use the money for their immediate needs, generally food and basic services and in the long-term run be able to put aside some money to invest in their livelihoods and their well-being. Cash transfers have also proven to have a knock-on effect on local economies, so they benefit the entire community,” said Matthieu Lefebvre, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.

The project is financed by a $45 million IDA grant including funding from the IDA Regional Sub-Window for Refugees and Host Communities Support and a $7 million co-financing grant from the Sahel Adaptative Social Protection program with the support from the German Government.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.



Mademba Ndiaye
(222) 33 859 41 00