Niger + 3 more

WFP Niger Country Brief, August 2020

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

7,95 mt of food assistance distributed in July

USD 4.2 m cash-based transfers made in July

1,357,124 people assisted in July

USD 38 m six months net funding requirements (September 2020 – February 2021)

Operational Updates

• In the framework of COVID-19 crisis, the Government of Niger authorized the resumption of commercial airlines in the country as of 1 August. Nevertheless, the state of emergency is currently in place until mid-October.

• WFP signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, whose partnership with WFP is renewed on a yearly basis. This collaboration aims to contribute to the modernization of productive activities, strengthen capacities and create employment opportunities for young people and women in rural areas.

• WFP is undertaking preparatory work to resume community food assistance for assets (FFA) activities from November, in strict respect of prevention measures recommended by the Government. FFA activities were readjusted at household level since March to avoid large gatherings, in line with health measures linked to COVID-19 epidemics.

• WFP is planning its intervention in the context of Adaptative Social Protection (ASP) assistance, in collaboration with the Government’s Crisis Management Mechanism (Dispositif National de Prévention et Gestion des Crises Alimentaires), UNICEF, and the World Bank. WFP is identifying cooperating partners and fine-tuning targeting mechanisms and chronograms before starting the implementation of ASP assistance.

• Insecurity is alarmingly increasing throughout the whole country. In Tillabéri region, on 9 August non-state armed groups (NSAGs) killed seven humanitarians and their guide in a natural reserve in Kouré, about 80 km south-east of Niamey. The attack caused a series of reinforced security measures to be adopted by UN agencies. The incident did not have a direct impact on WFP operations, however, increasing access constraints in the country remain an issue of great concern for humanitarian actors.

• In Torodi Department (Tillabéri region), following the kidnapping of 10 staff from the NGO Action et programme d'impact au Sahel (APIS) and a driver on 24 June 2020, six villages are still inaccessible for security reasons, as per Government’s imposition. WFP remains in close communication with APIS Coordinator on the status and conditions of APIS staff. As of end of August, no official communication has been received yet.

• In Diffa, Maradi and Tahoua regions, the security situation remains volatile. In Diffa, NSAGs continue to carry out criminal activities such as attacks and kidnapping of civilians with extortion purposes. The region is still marked by ongoing military operations in the area of Lake Chad. In Maradi, criminal activities resumed after a period of relative calm due to the enhanced presence of security forces, as well as the establishment of self-defense groups in some villages. Tahoua region is still prone to NSAGs activities such as attacks on civilians or the hijacking of NGO vehicles.

• During the rainy season, flooding has been significantly affecting communities in the Tillabéri, Maradi, Tahoua and Agadez regions, with 51 fatalities as of 31 August, as well as substantial damage in terms of collapsed houses, lost livestock and severely damaged infrastructures. WFP is closely monitoring the situation. The Food Security Cluster (FSC) is supporting the Government’s Food Crisis Unit (CCA) and humanitarian partners to assess the impact of flooding on food security and develop coordination tools allowing actors to better identify where gaps in the assistance remain, should any intervention be requested.

• WFP Niger continues to face major food pipeline gaps due to delays in the delivery of cereals by local suppliers, as well as the backlog of international procurement mechanisms in the framework of COVID19 crisis. Where conditions allow it, WFP is considering cash-based transfers (CBT) instead of food distributions, to avoid lead times related to food procurement.

• Lean season A backlog from previous months due to procurement delays and subsequent deficit in certain food items, as well as access constraints linked to flooding or insecurity, caused August distributions to be continued into September. In Tillabéri region, flooding and security constraints severely affected the capacity of cooperating partners to carry out distributions. In Tahoua, food distributions were completed, while cash-based transfers will continue through September. In Maradi, distributions were suspended across some refugee sites due to frequent attacks by armed groups. In Diffa, distributions were almost completed and will be finalized in September. Overall, WFP reached between 800,000 and 1 million beneficiaries per month through lean season assistance, with achievement rates between 70 and 90 percent.

• WFP is in the process of preparing a second budget revision of its CSP (BR02), as the anticipated needs for 2021 are higher than the ones initially estimated due to the deterioration of the food security situation in the country and the scale-up of WFP operations (in the framework of resilience building activities and Adaptative Social Protection [ASP] programme assistance).