NIAMEY –The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Niger has expressed its gratitude to the people of Europe for contributions of more than €11.5 million in 2016, made by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Unit (ECHO). These funds enabled WFP to provide food assistance to the most vulnerable families in the country.
Niger faces high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity; nearly 20 percent of the population is unable to cover their food needs. During seasonal dry spells and periods of drought, this figure rises to nearly 25 percent of households.
“We are grateful for the European Union’s support to WFP in Niger,” said Benoit Thiry, WFP Country Director for Niger. “Thanks to EU contributions, WFP has been able to respond efficiently and effectively to support the food needs of the most vulnerable people.”
Critical funding from the EU has allowed WFP to cover a broad range of needs, with the largest share allocated to helping at-risk households cope with seasonal shocks when access to and availability of food is limited. Immediate food needs were addressed through boosting community asset creation where conditions permitted. Similarly, specialized nutritious foods and unconditional food transfers provided to people affected by conflict helped to avoid negative coping mechanisms, enabling them to cover their basic food and nutrition needs.
ECHO’s contribution also meant that WFP gave life-saving food and nutrition support to Malian refugees living in the west and northwest of the country. WFP also extended its regional emergency operation in the Diffa region, close to the Nigerian border and part of the Lake Chad Basin crisis, which saw a continued increase in internally displaced persons and refugees fleeing violence from Boko Haram. WFP helped reduce the seasonal stresses in this region to prevent a peak in acute malnutrition and mortality. Food assistance was given to refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees as well as the host communities.
The United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) also benefited from ECHO funding, permitting continued safe and efficient transport for the whole humanitarian community in Niger.
WFP has been working in Niger since 1968 to alleviate hunger and malnutrition in emergency situations as well as building resilience. Thanks to the EU’s continuous support, WFP has been able to provide consistent and vital assistance to the most vulnerable people across the country.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.
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