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Mauritania: the ICRC's work in 2013

31-03-2014 Facts and Figures

Detainee welfare


  • visited more than 1,500 detainees during 51 visits to 23 places of detention;
  • exchanged 15 Red Cross messages (i.e. containing family news) between detainees and their loved ones;
  • made possible 71 phone calls between detainees and their families;
  • set up four video calls between a Guantanamo detainee and his family in Nouakchott.



  • provided six health centres with basic medical equipment and regular medical supplies;
  • trained and supervised medical staff during its visits and provided monthly salary top-ups for 12 individuals;
  • distributed therapeutic dietary supplements;
  • carried out a nutritional survey, informed the Mauritanian prison authorities of its conclusions and made recommendations;
  • exterminated insects in and disinfected facilities housing 1,100 detainees.

Water and habitat


  • repaired and upgraded the water and sanitation systems in four prisons (Nouakchott, Rosso, Aleg and Nouadhibou);
  • improved ventilation of cells.

Restoring family links


  • collected 138 Red Cross messages and delivered 95;
  • opened 73 missing persons files, of which 35 were resolved and 38 remain open;
  • registered six children who were separated from their parents or otherwise unaccompanied.

Health and sanitation for the people of Bassikounou


  • renovated and expanded the health centre so that it can now accommodate 67 patients;
  • launched a project to restore the water-supply system in Bassikounou (population of 15,000).

Promoting humanitarian law and principles


  • gave 74 army, navy and air-force officers talks on international humanitarian law in the course of three events organized at training and operational units;
  • gave seven talks for 201 army and police personnel in order to raise awareness about international human rights law;
  • organized a round table discussion on humanitarian work for 26 journalists and members of human rights NGOs;
  • made it possible for four journalists, two army officers, one civil servant and one member of the Mauritanian Red Crescent to attend international forums on humanitarian law.

Support for the Mauritanian Red Crescent


  • trained and gave practical field experience to 15 Red Crescent members in how to implement economic security projects;
  • sent Red Crescent officials for training in health care (including first aid), ensuring an adequate water supply, and restoring family links.