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Malnutrition rising for Malian refugees in Mauritania

A baby is treated in the desert refugee camp in Mbera, Mauritana. Credit: MSF

Malian refugees in Mauritania are enduring "deplorable" conditions in the Mbera refugee camp that is causing levels of malnutrition to increase, according to MSF.

The situation in the camp has worsened since the Frence led military intervention in January, according to the medical aid agency.

Conditions at the camp are so bad that many healthy children are getting ill upon arrival and malnutrition rates have more than doubled. MSF said:

"The number of children admitted per week for severe malnutrition has more than doubled, [...] despite the nutritional status of the new refugees being generally good when assessed on arrival in the camp."

The MSF report, Stranded in the Desert, is based on testimony from more than 100 residents of the Mbera camp, near the border with Mali.

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Malian refugees 'enduring appalling conditions'

The Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania, home to 70,000 refugees according to UNHCR. Credit: MSF

Thousands of refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict in Mali are facing appalling living conditions in the Mbera refugee camp in Mauritania, according to medical aid agency Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF)

The camp, located in a remote, arid region close to the border with Mali is home to 70,000 people who are relying entirely on aid agencies to meet their most basic needs.

Provisions are "far from adequate" with a desperate shortage of toilets and supplies: In January when MSF arrived there were only four latrines for 12,200 people.

The area suffers from a chronic lack of water and refugees are receiving only 11 litre of water a day in 50C heat - 9 litres less than recommended.

Mauritania President 'lightly wounded' in accidental shooting

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was "lightly wounded" after a Mauritanian military patrol accidentally opened fire on his convoy on Saturday, a government spokesman confirmed.

On his way back to Nouakchott, the presidential convoy was shot by a Mauritanian patrol...as they did not recognize his convoy. The president was shot on that occasion but he is lightly wounded and his life is not threatened.

– Communications Minister Hamdi Ould Mahjoub

They said Abdel Aziz was traveling by road when the incident occurred.

Security forces blocked roads leading to the hospital, witnesses said.

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