Terrorist attacks further dent Mauritania economy

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Following the set back suffered from donor sanctions on Mauritania, the country is struggling to cope with the latest blow dealt them by the suspected terrorist attacks on 14 September in Tourine.

According to Mauritania’s newly-installed defence ministry, the terrorist attacks in the northeast killed 11 soldiers and their civilian guide, and economic analysts say the country can hardly cope with such activities.

Isselmou Ould Mohamed an economist with the World Bank-funded non-profit Association for the Exchange of Economic Information said the attacks add to the mounting pressure faced by Mauritania’s aid-dependent economy.

According to the World Bank 2007 figures, 67 percent of Mauritania’s public spending, roads, hospitals and public works are financed by international donors.

It is reported that Arab countries give about 20 percent of this amount, the European Union somewhat less, the World Bank about 10 percent, while France, the Islamic Development Bank, Japan and the United States are also significant bilateral donors.

Following the August 6 military takeover and continued detention of President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, donors including the EU, the US and the World Bank have either suspended or threatened to cut more than US$500 million in non-humanitarian aid.

The recent terrorist attacks in Mauritania have not helped the donation situation from the EU, US and the World Bank. But the EU however issued a statement on 21st September expressing its ‘condolences for Mauritania’ following the deadly attacks in the northeast, and its intent to stand in solidarity in the fight against terrorism.

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