WFP Niger Country Brief, February 2017
A joint WFP/UNHCR sensitization mission took place in Intikane ZAR for the newly relocated Malian refugees from Tazalit ZAR on the implementation of assistance on the basis of needs and capacity.
Critical funding gap is having extremely negative consequences on planned resilience and hunger season activities. New contributions are urgently needed to avoid losing achievements gained over the past three years.
Coupled with the effects on school meal activities of severe underfunding, the consequences of the 2017 pastoral crisis is increasing pupil dropout rates, in particular amongst children of nomad communities.
Distributions of commodity vouchers for school meals activities started. This type of assistance helps to create a direct connection between local production, education, nutrition and women empowerment. Food goods were delivered by farmer organizations in four communes (Falwel and Sokordé in the Dosso region, and Djirataoua and Guidan Amoumoune in Maradi) and by WFP providers in all other communes. Awareness raising sessions were carried out alongside distributions.
Multiple discussions took place between the Ministry of Education, WFP and UNICEF to identify solutions for the increasing drop-out rate of pupils in nomadic areas.
Communities of these areas are the most affected by the pastoral crisis developed as a consequence of the fodder deficit during the 2016-17 agro-pastoral campaign.
The final phase of the joint WFP-Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education mission presented the Adolescent Strategy to national technical services at the regional levels.
The Adolescent Strategy, which aims at improving nutrition and education of adolescents of very poor households, will be launched in March in all communes where WFP implements integrated activities.
WFP contributed to the finalization of the budget/costing plan of the National Multisector Policy on Nutrition Security for 2017. This policy will be finalized and officially launched in March and will involve all government sectors with the aim of eradicating malnutrition in Niger.
The first Steering Committee meeting of the "Fortification of Processed Food Products in Niger" project took place. The aim is to improve the quality and availability of nutritional food in Niger by promoting the consolidation of local food chains derived from "primary" processing, in particular those resulting from the milling of cereals, legumes and the extraction of seed oil.
A meeting with the government 3N Initiative reviewed and planned the scale up of community-based participatory planning (CBPP) activities for at least 80 integrated sites in 2017. During the meeting focal points were designated amongst government, partner and UN representatives who will hold the role of trainers for the CBPP sites.
A boot-camp on asset creation techniques took place during the last week of February involving both WFP staff and national technical services, providing tools to produce high quality assets and strengthen national capacities.
WFP provided policy advice and technical assistance on the finalization of the Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth Strategy 2035, with a special attention on integrating the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 agenda.
WFP continued its efforts to capitalize on lessons learned by identifying and publishing best practices on Rome-based Agencies integrated approach in Dargué and Maradi.
UNHAS continues to provide air transport services to the humanitarian community in all five regions of Niger. In February, UNHAS transported 1,370 passengers and 2,218 mt of cargo.