Populations in Niger—a landlocked, low-income country of an estimated 20 million people in West Africa—are vulnerable to chronic food insecurity and malnutrition, regional conflict and resultant displacement, and recurrent shocks like disease outbreaks and floods. Approximately 2.3 million people across the country require emergency assistance to meet their basic needs, according to Niger’s 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan.
• The longstanding conflict perpetuated by Boko Haram and affiliated groups in the Lake Chad Basin has internally displaced approximately 109,000 people in Niger and forced approximately 120,000 refugees from Nigeria to flee to southeast Niger’s Diffa Region. About 42,000 Nigerian refugees are also present in central Niger’s Maradi Region, having fled a recent surge in violence in northwestern Nigeria.
• Approximately 78,000 people remain internally displaced in western Niger’s Tahoua and Tillabéri regions due to an escalation of intercommunal conflict and attacks by armed groups since 2017.
Western Niger also hosts approximately 56,000 refugees from Mali, where instability has exacerbated humanitarian needs and caused regional population displacements since 2012.
• Approximately 1.4 million people in Niger are facing Crisis (IPC 3) or worse levels of acute food insecurity, according to a November Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis. The CH analysis projects that the number of people facing crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity may increase to more than 1.9 million during the forthcoming lean season from June—August, 2020. According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), conflict continues to drive Crisis food security outcomes in Tillabéri while Stressed (IPC 2) outcomes persist in Diffa and would likely be worse without humanitarian assistance.
• USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) partners with the UN World Food Program (WFP) to assist vulnerable populations in Niger through food distributions, nutrition support, and asset-building activities. FFP also enables the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver ready-to-use therapeutic food to treat severely malnourished children.
• FFP supports non-governmental organization (NGO) Mercy Corps to provide food assistance to 28,000 food-insecure people in Tillabéri through activities in which participating families receive cash transfers in exchange for work on community assets; FFP also partners with an NGO to deliver food vouchers to 16,000 people in need in Diffa.
• To assist approximately 1.2 million people in Maradi and Zinder regions, FFP conducts three long-term development activities with CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and Save the Children. These activities aim to improve food security and resilience of chronically vulnerable households. As integral components of the USAID Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) II initiative, these interventions work across many sectors, including agriculture, health, livelihoods, nutrition, and sanitation.