UN Humanitarian Fund allocates US$6 million to ensure early response to food insecurity in Niger
(New York, 6 December 2011): The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated US$6 million to three United Nations agencies to jump-start emergency interventions to address food insecurity in Niger.
“Millions of people are facing a severe and worsening humanitarian crisis in Niger,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “CERF funding will ensure that the response to meet food, nutrition and agriculture needs will be provided when it is desperately needed.”
Villages and households, women and children have still not fully recovered from the 2010 food crisis that affected West Africa’s Sahel region. The next lean season (spring to fall) is expected to begin earlier and last longer. Millions of people once again face food insecurity. By intervening early, CERF aims to avoid further degradation of the nutritional status of vulnerable people, especially children, in the months to come.
“The Government of Niger and humanitarian partners are working together to ensure we effectively address this crisis throughout 2012,” said Guido Cornale, acting Humanitarian Coordinator and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Niger. “This allocation from CERF will ensure we can deliver immediate relief to stabilize the situation for the next three months.”
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been allocated more than $3.3 million to distribute food and reduce malnutrition, while the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has been provided $700,000 towards emergency assistance for vulnerable herder communities. An allocation of more than $1.9 million has been given to UNICEF to ensure adequate care for excess caseloads of severe acute malnutrition among children under five.
The CERF, which is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), was established in 2005 by the UN General Assembly. It has allocated more than $74 million to Niger in the last five years. The funds were used to assist people fleeing from the crisis in Libya this year, as well as people facing food insecurity in 2010 and serious disease outbreaks in 2009.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.