West Africa: Microlending in Mauritania

The progress and challenges of USAID's Food for Peace project in Mauritania
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This field note describes USAID team's visit to Food for Peace (FFP) funded project for microenterprise development in Mauritania. The visit assessed World Vision's (WV) request to channel excess revenues from agricultural sales to microfinance activities.

The project of FFP, Prodev, has two branches. The Nouakchott branch is supported by funds from sale monetization of agricultural commodities and Kiffa branch by private donations.

The note emphasizes that the project is effectively managed, although the following issues hinder its smooth functioning:

  • Large population;
  • Inaccessible communication networks;
  • Illiterate clients.

The note gives information on:

  • WVs plan to install a new Management Information System e-merge to improve services;
  • WVs concern for better project management;
  • USAID teams visit to commodity warehouses, food-insecure villages and feeding sites.

The note stresses on the interaction between WV and USAID teams, where they shared concerns, challenges and strategies to overcome them. Finally, it concludes by stressing that the collaborative effort to improve food security and income was a promising step towards the future success of the project.