WFP Niger Country Brief, August 2019
6,368 mt of food assistance distributed in July
USD 1.27 m cash-based transfers in July
USD 35.4 m six months (Sept 2019 - February 2020) net funding requirements
1.36 m people assisted from January to July
• WFP advocates for financial inclusion of vulnerable and rural parts of Niger’s population. At a meeting with the Minister Delegate for Budget, Dr. Jidoud Ahmet, WFP’s Country Director raised the issue of the lack of national ID cards which is affecting the financial agenda inclusion in Niger, as this is a prerequisite to obtain SIM cards, open bank accounts, etc. As a temporary and partial solution, WFP proposed the use of WFP-issued electronic identity cards (i.e. SCOPE cards) to enable WFP-funded mobile money transfers and await the feedback of regulatory authorities to this effect.
• Based on successful implementation of Rome Based Agencies (RBA – FAO, IFAD, WFP) integrated resilience programme, the country has been selected to be part of a joint planning and programming to harmonize RBA contribution to system-wide strategic and programmatic thinking. In August, a technical mission took place to kickstart this RBA joint planning exercise. In addition, the steering committee of the RBA’s project funded by Canada will be organized in Niger from 16 to 20 September.
• WFP estimates that 487,000 beneficiaries and 20,000 children aged 6-23 months were reached during the lean season distributions in August. Out of these, nearly 274,000 people were targeted for crisis response assistance, while nearly 213,000 were targeted for resilient activities.
• WFP is providing food and nutrition assistance to 35,000 registered Nigerian refugees that had recently settled in some 40 villages, close to the Nigerian border, in Maradi.
• In August, WFP carried out an emergency food security assessment combined with a targeting exercise which confirmed the need for food assistance for the most vulnerable households.
Around 1,700 very poor households (29 percent of the total population) and 2,900 poor households (51 percent) were identified, which represent a total population of 38,000 people.
According to availability of resource, the survey recommended assisting the very poor and poor and to re-evaluate the needs during the first harvest for a second cycle of unconditional assistance.
• In August, refugees of the Sayam Forage camp in the Diffa region received a mix of cash and cereals, representing a first step to shifting to a fully cash-based food assistance. Sensitization sessions around this shift preceded this change. Coordination with market actors has not been satisfactory and will be a point to strengthen before making the full shift to cash payments.
Nutrition supplements will continue to be distributed to vulnerable children.
Integrated Resilience-Building Package
• Food assistance for assets (FFA) – 34 Master II students from the University of Niamey and the regional universities of Maradi, Tahoua, and Diffa were deployed in resilience sites to develop their thesis, in order to improve the technical quality and study the socio-economic impacts of interventions. In the next months the University of Niamey will also conduct research to adapt WFP participatory planning tools to refugee and urban contexts.
• Nutrition – A lack of funding forced WFP to prioritize certain areas for nutrition activities. Malnutrition treatment items could only be delivered to the conflict-affected Diffa region as well as to the northern parts of the Tillabery and Tahoua regions.
These regions were in turn not assisted with malnutrition prevention items for children aged 6-23 months.
WFP has ordered the purchase of 1,600 mt of specialised nutritious food to be produced locally by STA in Niamey. At the same time 3,800 mt of millet and 1,200 mt of beans were purchased from local traders. This is in line with WFP's objective to increase local procurement and contribute to the local economy. It also serves the interests of WFP by significantly reducing delivery times, transport costs and product shelf life.