The Islamic Republic of Mauritania in northwest Africa has a population of about 4.3 million and is one of the poorest countries in the world. Since the 1970s, the desert has been spreading further and further. Many livestock breeders have lost their herds and migrated with their families to the slums of the cities. Due to climate change, the rising sea level is also causing many problems for people, and some coastal areas are already uninhabitable. The situation is also difficult for the Christian minority in the country. ACN’s aid goes primarily to priests and nuns who live in existential need here.
Nearly 100% of the population profess the Islamic faith. There are only 4,000 Catholic Christians, who are exclusively foreigners. The bishop, priests and nuns of the country’s only diocese come from 20 different European, Asian and African countries. Nevertheless, the work of the Catholic Church is appreciated by many Muslims.
The priests and nuns here live in existential need.
In Mauritania, 27 nuns care for pregnant women, the sick, migrants, prisoners and people with disabilities – nearly all of them Muslim.
The nuns are also active in schools and educational institutions. Here they teach practical skills such as sewing, but also reading and writing to women who could not attend school. They also care for malnourished children, of whom there are about 40,000 in the capital Nouakchott alone. ACN supported the 27 nuns in 2019 with existential aid and the ten priests of the diocese with Mass stipends.