• Despite a slight decrease in the number of asymmetric attacks registered during November in Niger, the security environment remains extremely volatile and prone to quick deteriorations. The prevalence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) related incidents in both the lake Chad area, as well as the border region with Mali and Burkina Faso remains a primary concern.
• The nutrition survey, conducted between September and October 2020 using the SMART methodology, showed a national Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) prevalence of 12.7% [11.6%-14.0%]. The prevalence of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was estimated to 2.6% [2.2%-3.1%], surpassing the emergency threshold of 2%. Five regions showed a particularly concerning situation with a GAM prevalence close or above the emergency threshold of 15% (Diffa, Maradi, Zinder, Tahoua and Agadez).
• The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) recorded 03 alerts on displacements of population following non-state armed groups attacks and conducted 05 multi- sector assessments and 01 rapid-assessment in the Diffa, Tahoua and Tillaberi regions. RRM actors also provided NFI to 45,33o people and shelter assistance to 6,474 beneficiaries, and WASH assistance to 14,375 beneficiaries.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Humanitarian Needs Overview: The 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan was revised in July: it has been estimated that 3.7 million people in Niger are in need of humanitarian assistance, including about 2 million children. The needs analysis shows the persistence of five major crises affecting the country: food insecurity, malnutrition, epidemics including COVID-19 pandemic, floods and population movements due to conflict and irregular migration. According to this revised version of the 2020 HRP, 2.2 million people (+27%) are targeted for non-COVID-19 response with an updated budget of 433.8 M USD (+8%). The Food Security sector increased target and budget by 33%; other sectors with a major increase in people targeted are protection, nutrition, shelter/NFI and health. The revised HRP also includes an amount of 82.3 M USD for COVID-19 response (66.6 M USD for health activities) for a new HRP total budget of 516.1 M USD. The COVID-19 related interventions in the revised HRP target 3.1 M people in the country.
In partnership with government and NGOs, UNICEF continues to provide multisectoral and coordinated assistance to affected population, both through an emergency approach to assist the most vulnerable populations immediately after a shock, and through longer terms interventions to guarantee durable solutions.
Access to affected communities continue to be very limited due to continuous insecurity and to a cumbersome civil- military coordination process. Field missions are frequently cancelled due to incidents and/or non-state armed groups activities and lack of access is slowing down program implementation and monitoring. The imposition of armed escorts by the government for all movements outside the major urban agglomerations represents a major barrier to access the affected communities: UNICEF was obliged to suspend all field missions requiring an armed escort with heavy consequences to the delivery of assistance. A dialogue is ongoing with the Government and the humanitarian community and UN Agencies.
COVID-19 pandemic1: Following the confirmation of the first positive case of COVID-19 on March 19th, 2020 in the capital city Niamey, UNICEF has been working closely with the Government and its partners to step up the response and prevent further proliferation of the COVID-19 pandemic across the country, already facing the consequences of multiple crises (nutrition, conflicts, natural disasters). As of the end of the reporting period, Niger registered 1,548 cases of COVID-19, 1,210 patients healed, 266 patients currently under treatment and 72 deaths, with 3 new victims since the last one reported in July. A gradual increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 is registered since November 6th, reaching a peak on November 29th and affecting 4 out of 8 regions (Dosso, Agadez, Tillabery, Niamey), with Niamey reporting more than 86% of the new cases.