Financing the rollout of the social registry and protecting the populations that are most vulnerable to shocks
The poorest populations are the most vulnerable to shocks. This reality is particularly noticeable in Mauritania which remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Especially in the rural areas of southern Mauritania, where households depend largely on rain-fed agriculture and livestock, poverty rates are the highest in the country which makes these rural populations particularly vulnerable.
To optimise and coordinate social safety nets for these populations, the World Bank launched the “Mauritania Social Safety Net System” project in 2015. This project, with a total budget of USD 29 million, is financed by a World Bank grant of USD 15 million, a contribution of USD 10 million from the Mauritanian state and a contribution of USD 4 million from the United Kingdom and France. The project will come to an end in October 2020.
Through this project, the Bank is supporting the Mauritanian government in the deployment of the national Social Registry, the TEKAVOUL social transfer programme and its shock-responsive social safety net programme, ELMAOUNA. The TEKAVOUL programme supports the poorest households on a regular and sustainable basis with cash transfers and social promotion interventions. The ELMAOUNA programme has been implemented by the Food Security Commission (CSA) since 2017 to enable households to cope with shocks that affect their well-being, particularly droughts.
Offering social welfare to over 200,000 households
The Social Registry aims to identify the 200,000 poorest households in Mauritania and to inform the targeting of social programmes. As of January 2020, a total of 173,076 households were registered in the Social Registry database. With the effective inclusion of the urban regions of Nouakchott and Dakhlet Nouadhibou, national coverage will be achieved. To this end, the Social Registry has recently adapted its methodology to operate in an urban context.
About 30,500 households in extreme poverty are currently benefiting from the TEKAVOUL programme. The Government’s objective is to reach 70,000 beneficiary households by the end of 2020 and 100,000 households by 2021, reaching a national coverage in the next two years. In total, 94.5 per cent of TEKAVOUL beneficiaries have participated in social promotion activities.
In 2019, ELMAOUNA enabled 3,800 households to benefit from cash transfers during the lean season (from June to September 2019) using social protection tools (Social Register, TEKAVOUL payment platform).
New support to the Mauritanian social protection system
In April 2020, an additional USD 72 million were approved to further strengthen Mauritania’s efforts in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the national social protection system. This new phase of the project contributes to the G5 Sahel’s Emergency Development Programme (PDU) – an initiative launched by the G5 governments and financially by the Sahel Alliance. The project is financed by a USD 45 million grant from the World Bank and a USD 7 million grant from the Adaptive Social Protection Programme for the Sahel, co-financed by the German government. The Mauritanian government is providing a contribution of USD 20 million.
This additional funding focuses on updating the Social Registry and increasing the TEKAVOUL programme’s coverage of poor and vulnerable households through targeted social transfers, particularly in refugee and host communities. In addition, it aims to support the deployment of the ELMAOUNA shock-responsive social safety net programme to reach food insecure households during the lean season.
Photo credit : AFD