Mauritania is the latest country from the Sahel to receive aid to help it deal with the effects of a drought plaguing the entire region.
Counterpart International plans to use $524,000 from the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide some 12,300 people jobs in community-improvement projects and funds to farmers. The money will also be used to train health workers on water treatment measures to reduce the spread of water-borne diseases.
Mauritania is one of the many countries facing grave conditions in the Sahel. Around 700,000 people in the country — many of whom are in the eastern and southern parts — are food insecure, according to the U.N. World Food Program. The United Nations launched a $94 million consolidated appeal for the African nation for 2012, but the request has only been 34 percent funded.
Mauritania is also extending help to refugees fleeing fighting in Mali, which now number more than 250,000, according to the latest assessment by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
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