Niger

Urgent humanitarian funding and greater protection of the civilian population needed in Niger

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Niger, 4 February 2021 – Deputy Director of Operations and Advocacy Division, David Carden today called for urgent funding to meet the humanitarian needs of 2.1 million people in Niger.

Niger is facing a complex humanitarian emergency marked by continued insecurity and violence against civilians perpetrated by armed elements, endemic poverty, the effects of climate change including seasonal floods and pockets of drought. The humanitarian situation is further aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic causing an exponential increase in needs. This year, the number of people in Niger who need humanitarian assistance and protection has increased from 2.3 million to 3.7 million.

“During my visit to Ouallam, I witnessed the level of suffering among people affected by this crisis. Mr. Carden said in Niamey after a six-day mission to Niger. “I commend the efforts of the Government and humanitarian partners for collectively providing immediate, lifesaving assistance to the people in need” he said. Most displaced people have been forced to flee multiple times and are unable to return home due to insecurity. Spikes of violence particularly in the Diffa, Tillabéry, Maradi and Tahoua regions are creating new displacement and increasing humanitarian needs.

More than 1 million people have been displaced countrywide. Persisting insecurity and the impact of floods led to some 530,000 people seeking refuge from violence in 2020, while more than 632,000 people became displaced following the destruction of their houses by torrential rainfall. About 2 million people are facing acute and chronic food insecurity because of recurring shocks and climatic change while 457,200 children aged 6 months to 59 months are exposed to severe acute malnutrition this year. More than 50% of children aged 7 to 16 years are out of school.

While efforts are being made to ensure the protection of civilians, it remains a major concern in Niger. In 2020, 287 security incidents affected humanitarian workers including 7 humanitarians killed. “Civilians and humanitarians are not a target and must be protected. ’I urge all parties to respect human rights law and their obligation to spare persons who are not taking part in the violence” Mr. Carden said.

The 2021 Niger Humanitarian Response Plan is requesting US$523.2 million, aiming to cover the acute needs of the most vulnerable people. About 173 humanitarian organizations are providing emergency multisectoral assistance nationwide including in hard-to-reach areas.

For more information, contact
Laura Fultang, Public Information Officer, fultangl@un.org
Boubacar Hamani Abdoulaye, Associate Public Information Officer, boubacarhamani@un.org, (+227) 97 86 96 15
Dieudonné Bamouni, Head of Office, dieudonneb@un.org, (+227) 96 00 94 98
OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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