Canadian government donates $10 million (Cdn) to UNICEF Niger

NIGER, 5 August 2005 - Today in Maradi, Niger, the Honorable Aileen Carroll, Minister of International Cooperation, announced that Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, will increase its contribution by $10 million (Cdn) to fight under-nutrition and hunger in the Sahel region of Africa, including Niger. In the presence of UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Rima Salah, the Minister said that $6 million (Cdn) of that money would go to support UNICEF's immediate aim of treating an estimated 32,000 suffering from severe malnutrition and 160,000 children suffering from moderate malnutrition in Niger.

"UNICEF deeply appreciates this generous donation by the Canadian government and the Canadian people", said Rima Salah. "These funds will go a long way in helping UNICEF to save the lives of children in Niger who are in desperate need of immediate aid. " The announcement was made during a joint visit by the Canadian Minister and UNICEF's Deputy Executive Director to a UNICEF-supported therapeutic feeding center in Maradi and a UNICEF-supported, community-managed cereal bank distribution project in Garin Goulbi village, Maradi Region.

UNICEF's Achievements to Date

The original UN Flash Appeal, issued in May 2005, mobilized US$9 million, mainly for food aid, nutrition and agricultural activities. UNICEF Niger has currently allocated US $3,857,000 to respond to the crisis. UNICEF is working in collaboration with the Government, NGO partners - Médecins sans Frontières/France/Suisse, World Vision, SIM, BALD, ACF, HKI, AMA, Save the Children, Red Cross, Concern, Islamic Relief, Goal, and Plan International - and sister UN agencies WFP, FAO, UNFPA, & WHO to treat children with severe & moderate under-nutrition, to promote improved child feeding practices, and to reduce the effects of household food insecurity.

UNICEF has delivered over 41 tons of therapeutic milk, and 6.7 tons of Plumpy'nut® to the government and NGO partners. Therapeutic food purchases by UNICEF are supporting 10 fixed therapeutic feeding centers and 21 outreach therapeutic centers. 190 tons of UNIMIX are already delivered to the Government and NGO partners. In collaboration with WFP 187 tons of corn-soy blend, and 614 tons of cereals have been delivered to 62 affected villages which have benefited an estimated 200,000 persons, including 40,000 children under the age of five. 900 additional tons are expected to be delivered to 90 additional villages. Approximately 6 tons of seeds (corn, wheat, and potato) have been provided.

Scaling Up UNICEF Response in Niger

UNICEF's immediate aims are:

- To treat an estimated 32,000 children suffering from severe under-nutrition and 160,000 children suffering from moderate under-nutrition, so as to prevent children currently suffering from moderate under-nutrition from slipping into severe under-nutrition, and to prevent children cured from under-nutrition in therapeutic feeding centers from slipping back to under-nutrition.

- To reinforce the capacity of the government agencies and communities to deal with the immediate and recurrent food crises in Niger.

- To assure adequate health (e.g. measles immunization and vitamin A for all malnourished children, malaria prevention, etc.); water/sanitation (e.g. assure adequate water & sanitation facilities, provide potable water, etc.); and, protection (e.g. sensitization campaigns to avoid risks of sexual exploitation and abuse of minors & women), services for affected populations.

For more information, please contact:

Mr Aboudou Karimou Adjibade, UNICEF Niger Representative, Tel: (227) 725-369 or (227) 995-262; email:

Mr Isselmou Ould Boukhary, UNICEF Niger Program Coordinator, Tel: (227) 722-841 or (227) 962-160; email:

Mr Kent Page, UNICEF Regional Communication Officer , Tel: (227) 722-840 or (227) 532-129; email: