Niger

Niger: Aid organizations adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic

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“Our awareness-raising activities are now mostly focused on preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. Informing the local population about the disease will help to prevent transmission within communities,” said 37-year-old Adamou Abass, who is in charge of the health and nutrition programme for the international non-governmental organization (NGO) Action Against Hunger (ACF Spain) in the Tahoua region of Niger.

Nationwide, the pandemic has resulted in the disruption of infant and child feeding practices due to a slowdown in prevention nutrition awareness activities and a reduction of access to health and nutrition services by people who are not using medical facilities during this time.Abass is among many humanitarian workers in Niger who have integrated COVID-19-related activities into their response plan. He notes that to prevent an increase in malnutrition and infant mortality in the region, it is crucial for health and nutrition activities to continue amid the COVID-19 response.

According to the Government and its partners, due to the economic downturn and containment measures, 5.6 million people (23 per cent of the country’s population) are at risk of food insecurity during the lean season from June to September, compared with 1.9 million anticipated at the beginning of the year. Furthermore, the number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition is expected to increase by 35 per cent.

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