Niger: Emergency Appeal – Food insecurity (MDRNE010)

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This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 3,756,836 in cash, kind, or services to support the Red Cross Society of Niger (RCSN) to assist 350’000 beneficiaries for 9 months, and will be completed by the end of October, 2012. A Final Report will be made available by January 2013 (three months after the end of the operation).

CHF 126,768 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

This Emergency Appeal aims to mitigate food shortages resulting from the bad harvests of 2011. This current food shortage is affecting about 3 million people in Niger and millions more over the Sahel region, and is being exacerbated by the rise in prices in the region.

According to current estimates from the Niger Ministry of Agriculture and the Director of Statistics, the 2011/12 agro-pastoral season is marked by a deficit of 519,639 tons of cereals (14 percent of the cereal needs of the population) and 10,222,308 tons of forage. As a result, it is anticipated that the lean season will start early—possibly as early as January—instead of March as is customary, and that the affected population will not have the reserves or coping strategies to deal with this extended lean season.

According to the Niger Government, following the results of the survey Household vulnerability to food insecurity in rural and urban area conducted in November 2011, more than 5,458,000 people (34.9 percent of the population) were in a situation of food insecurity, including 1,324,435 people (8.5 percent) who were severely food insecure. The survey found 26.4 percent of the population (over 4 million) were moderately food and nutrition insecure, while 3,622,956 persons (23.1 percent) are classified as "at risk", that means, likely to slide into food insecurity before the next harvest.

A needs assessment conducted by the RCSN and the participating National Societies (PNS) in-country, has confirmed the Government findings, enabling the National Society to define the regions and target populations it will focus on, and its plan of action and proposed activities. The National Society will focus on the six most affected regions of Diffa, Dosso, Maradi, Tahoua, Tillabery and Zinder, where around three million people across 228 areas are assessed as being vulnerable. The plan of action is based on extensive experience in food security programmes and will build on the lessons learned from earlier food security operations.

This Emergency Appeal is being issued in response to a request from the RCSN to support them to respond to the deteriorating situation and to provide food security and nutrition assistance for about 50,000 households (350,000 beneficiaries). This assistance will include various activities such as cash for work, cash transfer, Poor and sporadic rainfall resulted in bad harvest.

This operation is expected to be implemented over a period of 9 months, and will therefore be completed by October, 2012, before the beginning of the harvest time. A Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by January, 2013).