COVID-19: Mauritanian President announces social assistance plan
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani announced a social assistance plan to alleviate the expected effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday evening in a speech to the nation. The cornerstone of this plan is the creation of a special fund for social solidarity and the fight against the coronavirus, endowed with a state contribution of 25 billion ouguiya MRO (66 million US dollars) and opened before the participation of Mauritanian economic actors and international partners, according to the speech broadcast by the public media. So far, Mauritania has recorded two cases of coronavirus on two foreigners recently arrived in the country. The implementation of the plan announced by Mr. Ghazouani notably includes the allocation of an amount of 5 billion MRO ouguiyas (US $ 13 million) in support of some 30,000 needy families, households cared for by women and vulnerable or disabled people. In the same context, the Mauritanian state will exempt from taxes and customs duties on products such as wheat, cooking oil, milk powder, vegetables and fruits during the remaining months of the current year.
These exemptions will undoubtedly contribute to lowering the prices of the products in question and which are the most consumed by Mauritanians. Also, the water and electricity bills will be supported by the Treasury for poor families for 2 months while this support will concern water in all the villages of the country during the rest of the year. The Mauritanian head of state insisted that the resources mobilized for the special fund for social solidarity and the fight against the coronavirus will in no way affect the social and development projects scheduled for 2020.