The EU-Mauritania partnership is currently built on three main agreements:
- The National Indicative Program (NIP) for Mauritania under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), for €160 million
- The Partnership Agreement on Fisheries amounting to €55 million in addition to €5 million sectorial budget support per year
- The EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), under which projects worth more than €70 million are ongoing.
Mauritania is also a strategic partner of the EU in the fight against smuggling and trafficking, violent extremism and terrorism in the Sahel region.
EU development cooperation today
The indicative allocation for Mauritania (NIP) under the 11th EDF amounts to €160 million for the period 2014-2020, with 60% of the amount already committed. This support focuses on three sectors of intervention designed to help Mauritania address key challenges identified in close cooperation with the Mauritanian authorities, in line with the government's priorities:
- Food security and sustainable agriculture: actions are implemented to promote the country's potential in agriculture and to reinforce the efficiency and the governance of the sector.
- The rule of law: this sector aims to help the Mauritanian government strengthen the general governance, the credibility and the efficiency of its institutions, with a special focus on human rights.
- Health: the projects aim at supporting the reform of the health sector, to improve coverage to all the population.
Moreover, the EU provides substantial support under the EU Trust Fund. Mauritania benefits from seven bilateral projects worth a total of €55 million, which on a per capita basis, represents the top of the list in the region. These projects deal with highly strategic and priority concerns of the Mauritanian Government: job creation, notably in the fisheries sector, resilience of urban-rural populations, fight against radicalisation and terrorism. Furthermore, Mauritania is eligible under seven regional Trust Fund projects, of which three relate to the G5 Sahel, in which it plays a central role.
Results of the EU's support to Mauritania
- Employment and technical training: Through a methodology named "work school" (“chantier école”), more than 500 young people in 2017 were trained and accompanied to access the construction and public works job market. As regards small-scale fishing, 300 young people are now in a training programme. In parallel, more than 160 enterprises followed four months of training to upgrade their capacities, with a view to improve entrepreneurship as well as services provided to SMEs.
- Administration capacity building: During the last two years, around 2700 participants from the Mauritanian administration have benefitted of important training programmes aiming at reinforcing the efficiency of public administration.
- Health: The EU is a major contributor to the National Programme for Health Development) that took off in 2017. Measures testing the universal health coverage system are now targeting 20 000 citizens. The final objective is to create a universal health coverage system in the entire country.
Examples of current EU development programmes in Mauritania
- Rural Development: A total envelope of €78 million targets sustainable agriculture and food security, in three stages: a programme at both central and decentralised level to increase the resilience of pastoralists and rainfed agricultural producers in four provinces neighbouring Mali; and two additional programmes to improve infrastructure for productive and energetic investments in rural areas (€35 million) and to strengthen value chains (€18 million). This will permit to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations to food and nutritional insecurity in Mauritania within the context of climate change.
- Health ("Programme d'Appui au Secteur de la Santé"): €20 million. The overall objective is to improve and achieve a more equitable access to quality health care in line with the objectives of the National Health Development Plan and the National Social Protection Strategy.
- Support to the rule of law and access to justice for all: €12.6 million.The implementation of this project will start early 2019. It aims at increasing judicial competence and integrity, as well as increasing access to justice.
- Justice support ("Programme d'Appui à la Réforme de la Justice") is the third EU intervention in the field of rule of law in Mauritania since 2010. The programme provides institutional, structural and infrastructural support to the justice sector, in order to contribute to significant structural reform.
- Security and development: €13 million. This pilot project is implemented in the context of crisis in the border areas with Mali. It aims at strengthening the capacity of the armed and security forces while improving the living conditions of the population in these border areas with the delivery of public services (health, education, agriculture).
- Migration management: €8 million. This action, financed through the Trust Fund for Africa, contributes to the Regional Initiative "EUTF-IOM Initiative for Migrants Protection and Reintegration in Africa". Based on the needs of Mauritania in terms of migration management, the IOM's experience in Mauritania and discussions between IOM Mauritania and the EU Delegation, this project aims at strengthening border management and the protection and supporting the return and reintegration of migrants.
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