2.5 Million People To Benefit From Better Health Services in Mauritania’s Communities

WASHINGTON, MARCH 22, 2024 – A new national program approved today by the World Bank will help improve health services for about 2.5 million people, especially women, children, and adolescents in Mauritania’s hardest-to-reach communities. The new program is co-financed by a $52.3 million combination of grant and credit from the International Development Association (IDA)* and a $15 million grant from the Global Financing Facility (GFF)**.

Cristina Santos, the World Bank Country Manager for Mauritania, said: “By strategically targeting maternal, child, and adolescent health and nutrition, the World Bank is committed to supporting the Government of Mauritania in achieving its health system objectives and looks forward to the successful implementation of this program to improve the health and well-being of the people of Mauritania.”

Aligned with the National Strategy for Accelerated Growth and Shared Prosperity 2016-2030 and other health policies, the program will focus on improving the quality, accessibility, and utilization of healthcare services, particularly targeting maternal, child, and adolescent health as well as nutrition. It includes interventions to strengthen primary health care to improve equity, also focusing on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, including family planning through school platforms. It also focuses on health systems and financing reforms, as well as improvements in governance across the health sector.

These efforts will be concentrated across nine rural regions with health outcomes lagging the national average — Hodh Chargui, Hodh Gharbi, Guidimagha, Assaba, Gorgol, Brakna, Trarza, Adrar, and Tagant –collectively representing 62.4% of Mauritania’s population, to at a later stage be extended to the whole territory of the country.

With a focus on women of reproductive age, adolescents, youth, and children under five, including refugees, the program is expected to reach 2.5 million people including over 70,000 refugees with better quality health services such as pregnancy care and family planning.

The GFF looks forward to further working with the Government of Mauritania to scale up reforms that will ensure women and adolescents receive comprehensive access to health and nutrition services, regardless of where they live,” said Luc Laviolette, Head of the GFF Secretariat. “This new financing will help drive action through training and deploying community health workers in the hardest-to-reach communities, as well as supporting the expansion of health services within schools. We stand ready to support the government’s commitment to saving lives and providing more and better opportunities for young people.”

Integral to the program scope is the reinforcement of the health management information system, bolstering community health worker programs, and implementing performance-based financing mechanisms to improve the overall health outcomes in these specific regions.

*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 74 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has provided $496 billion to 114 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $34.7 billion over the last three years (FY20-FY22), with about 70 percent going to Africa. Learn more online: IDA.worldbank.org. #IDAworks

**The GFF is a country-led partnership, hosted by the World Bank, that fights poverty and inequity by advancing the health, rights and opportunities of women, children and adolescents. It does this by supporting low- and lower-middle-income countries to strengthen their health systems and improve the quality of and access to health care through prioritized plans, aligned financing, and policy reform. Since partnering with the GFF, countries have reached: 100 million pregnant women with four or more antenatal care visits; 130 million women with safe delivery care; 135 million newborns with early initiation of breastfeeding; 630 million women and adolescents with modern contraceptives, preventing 230 million unintended pregnancies. Learn more at www.globalfinancingfacility.org



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