Niger: Situation Report 01-14 Dec 2006
1) Significant events:
- Cereal prices have begun to rise in some regions.
- The mid-term evaluation of WFP's Country Programme for Niger has finished and the report is expected for 20 December.
Niger is under security phase 0, with the exception of Agadez and Diffa regions which are under phase 1. Diffa region, formerly security phase 0, was upgraded to security phase 1 on 26 October 2006 due to tensions between the Mahamid Arabs from Chad and local populations.
On 11 December, a WFP vehicle was the target of an armed robbery north of Tillaberi near the Mali border. No one was injured although money was stolen from one staff member.
3) Food security situation
SIMA has reported that although the average price of millet is the same as last month (139 francs CFA/kg), prices have begun to rise in Maradi (+17%), Zinder (+5%) and Tahoua (+5%). They note that these price increases are due to a high demand and not to an inadequate supply.
WFP, the Government's Early Warning System (Système d'Alerte Précoce), FEWS-Net and Agrhymet have signed an agreement to collaborate on food security monitoring. UNICEF, FAO, PLAN International and CARE will also be involved in the implementation. The data collection tools are being elaborated to be used at sentinel sites around the country. This collaboration will help improve the Government's food security monitoring efforts by integrating household-level data and nutritional indicators and is also in line with efforts to harmonize food security assessment methodology in the region. This regional harmonization framework is the result of collaboration between CILSS, WFP, FEWS-Net FAO and IBIMET/Italy with the support of USAID, ACDI, the European Union and the French Cooperation.
The Government/WFP/FEWS-Net/FAO/UNICEF food security and household vulnerability assessment and the Government/UNICEF/Helen Keller/WFP nutritional survey are both in the data input phase.
On 7 December, the preliminary results of the KAP (Knowledge, Attitude, Practice) study on the causes of malnutrition were discussed by the steering committee. Two major issues noted were the introduction of water, often non-potable, before the age of six months and the wide use of watered-down millet porridge, which is very low in nutrients, to feed children,.
Attached are two maps showing the rates of global acute malnutrition (malnutrition aiguë globale) and chronic malnutrition (malnutrition chronique) by region based on the results of the EDNS-MICS III 2006. The level of global acute malnutrition among children under five years of age has decreased from 14.1 percent in 2000 to 10.3 percent in 2006, while during the same time period the level of chronic malnutrition (stunting) increased from 39.8 percent in 2000 to 50 percent in 2006. The decrease in global acute malnutrition is a major success story for the country, and a result of the efforts of the Government, UN and NGO partners and in particular to the increased capacity to treat malnutrition due to the presence of local and international NGOs. If this treatment capacity continues, together with activities to prevent malnutrition, we can expect to see a decrease in the stunting rate over the coming years.
Food has been dispatched to partners in Diffa, Dosso, Zinder, Maradi and Tillaberi regions for food for work activities under the country programme. 105,635 beneficiaries will be targeted with 1,492 mt of food. These activities have the goal to increase agricultural production and combat desertification.
School feeding- In 2007, WFP will expand its school feeding programme to cover 15,000 new students in vulnerable areas. A meeting was held on 6 December with the Government counterpart to use vulnerability assessment and mapping (VAM) information in the selection of the new schools.
In January, a meeting will be held with UNICEF and other UN agencies on better integration and coordination of the essential package for schools in the framework of the Sahel Alliance.
With the winding down of the blanket supplementary feeding activity and the discharge ration, WFP's PRRO activities in December are focusing on supplementary feeding activities for moderately malnourished children. Due to late arrivals of corn-soya blend (CSB), the protection ration will not be distributed in December.
5) Monitoring and Evaluation
Evaluation of the Country Programme 10285.0- The mid-term evaluation of WFP's Country Programme for Niger has finished and evaluation team has already prepared an aide-memoire and three technical reports and the final evaluation report is expected for 20 December. The CP covers the period 2004-2007 but will be extended through 2008, to allow time for the finalization of the Government's Poverty Reduction Strategy paper and to align itself with the next UNDAF cycle (2009-2013). The CP has three activities: rural development, school feeding and a health component focusing on people living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Evaluation of the PRRO 10509.0- The PRRO mid-term evaluation will take place at end February 2007.
Additionally, evaluations of the following activities will also be undertaken:
- An evaluation of the impact of the targeted free food distributions implemented by the National Food Security Mechanism and WFP during the 2006 lean season will be undertaken. The NFSM is organising the evaluation and a selection process for the evaluation team is currently ongoing.
- Preparations for the evaluation of the blanket supplementary feeding, in collaboration with UNICEF, are ongoing.
- An evaluation of the discharge ration will be undertaken in January.
6) Resourcing and Pipeline
The Government has informed WFP that again this year, no local cereal purchases should take place. A regional purchase of 2,618 mt sorghum is ongoing in Burkina Faso. A tender for local purchase of 96 mt of niébé (cow peas) has been launched for the country programme.
WFP's stock situation for PRRO 10509.0 as of 11 December 2006:
7) External relations
WFP's Country Director met with the Executive Director of Islamic Relief on 11 December. Islamic Relief is an important nutritional partner in Niger and fortunately the IR director confirmed that the NGO plans to stay in Niger for the next few years at least.
A visit to a WFP-supported school in Tillaberi was organized for correspondents of international news agencies and radios on 12 December.
In the spirit of inter-agency cooperation, WFP is hosting OCHA in its Maradi and Tahoua sub-offices and has provided ICT connections for their staff.