Mauritania Economy


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Mauritania had a population of 2,906,000 in 2005. It earned GDP worth $1.6 billion in 2006. Per capita income stood at $630 in same period. In 2005 services sector accounted for 58.7% of national GDP followed by agriculture and industry, which accounted for 22.3% and 19% of national GDP respectively.

Mauritania economy overview

Primary agricultural products of Mauritania include millet, rice, maize, dates and wheat. Livestock rearing and fisheries form part of traditional livelihood. Iron mining is the primary industry here. 50% of work force are engaged in fisheries and agriculture, 20% in government jobs, 20% in services and commerce and 10% in industry and transportation.

Natural resources of Mauritania include petroleum, gold, fish, salt, iron ore, phosphates, gypsum and gum Arabic. Short run growth prospects of Mauritania are constrained by its debt service burden, climatic uncertainty and population pressure. Development of offshore oil deposits started from 2004. Availability of civic amenities in Mauritania is restricted to its cities. Mauritania is highly dependent on foreign aid for its development. Barter economy is also prevalent in certain degrees here.

Mauritania economy 2008

As per Human Development Index (2007/2008), Mauritania ranks 137 in a group of 177 nations. Mauritania for decades has been a food deficit nation mostly due to inclement weather conditions. This condition worsened in 2008 with a rise in global food price inflation. As 70% of Mauritania's food is imported, this country has been much affected by rising international cereal prices. As a result, acute malnutrition in this country has risen to 12% in 2007/2008 as compared to 8% in 2006/2007. Lack of availability and entitlement of enough food and a weak health care system has exposed Mauritania population to severe malnutrition. UNICEF via CERF funds has pitched in to provide therapeutic foods, essential drugs, micronutrient supplements and other supplies to Mauritania. WHO is actively involved in provision of essential supplies for recuperation centers in Mauritania. Farmers are being provided assistance by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in form of horticultural seeds, materials, veterinary inputs to name a few.