Extreme poverty, limited livelihood opportunities, and recurrent environmental shocks contribute to food insecurity in Niger. The 2017 Global Hunger Index reports that Niger faces a serious level of hunger, with approximately 19 and 43 percent of children younger than five years of age acutely and chronically malnourished, respectively.
Regional instability and civil conflict have driven population displacement and exacerbated food insecurity in Niger. As of October, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that Niger hosted approximately 57,400 and 108,500 refugees from Mali and Nigeria, respectively. In addition, the Boko Haram-related insurgency has displaced approximately 129,000 Nigeriens within the country.
$87.4 million 39,672 MT $75.3 million 27,524 MT $69.2 million 34,190 MT
The USAID Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with UN agencies and non-governmental organizations to provide critical emergency food assistance to displaced Nigeriens, vulnerable host communities, and Nigerian and Malian refugees through a combination of cash transfers, food vouchers, U.S. in-kind food aid, and locally and regionally procured food. Through its programs in Niger, FFP also collaborates with the USAID Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) initiative.
FFP works with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to provide assistance to chronically food-insecure communities across Niger to strengthen their capacity to cope with shocks while ensuring a strong and flexible food and cash-based safety net. In light of persistently high malnutrition rates, FFP also enables the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to distribute locally procured ready-touse therapeutic foods to treat children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
In the Maradi and Zinder regions, FFP supports three development food assistance programs with Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, and Save the Children, reducing food insecurity and improving rural households’ resilience. The programs target over 500,000 individuals and aim to both promote positive behavior change in nutrition, health, hygiene, sanitation, and agriculture as well as diversify livelihoods through livestock, savings and lending, and literacy activities.
Most Nigerien households will face Minimal (IPC 1) food insecurity until May 2018, as favorable rainfall will likely facilitate average to above-average yields in upcoming harvests, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports. However, insecurity and population displacement have disrupted livelihood activities in parts of Diffa Region, where Stressed (IPC 2) and Crisis (IPC 3) levels of food insecurity will persist until May 2018. In addition, poor pastoralists in some areas of Niger will face Stressed food insecurity between March and May as the market value of livestock falls, undermining household purchasing power.
*The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) is a standardized tool that aims to classify the severity and magnitude of food insecurity. The IPC scale, which is comparable across countries, ranges from Minimal (IPC I) to Famine (IPC 5).