Niger + 3 more

WFP Niger Country Brief, March 2020

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In Numbers

2,909 mt of food assistance distributed in March

US$ 1.43m cash-based transfers made in March

747,839 people assisted in February

US$ 87 m six months net funding requirements (April - September 2020)

Operational Updates

• On 30 March, WFP activated a Global Level 3 Surge Emergency to react to the COVID-19 Pandemic and in order to support enhanced emergency mechanisms and fundraising efforts of the organization. At the same time,
WFP’s regional bureau in Dakar is working with WFP Niger to develop a regional Contingency Plan in the Sahel and West Africa.

• The measures imposed by the Government on 17 March (closure of schools, ban on gatherings of more than 50 people and partial closure of borders) and on 25 March (curfew and cordon sanitaire around the capital), as well as the measures included in the UN COVID-19 contingency plan will disrupt WFP's ability to sustain existing operations in the coming months while ensuring safety of staff and quality of assistance.

• In line with the UN Inter-Agency Contingency Plan for the preparation and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP Niger activated its Business Continuity Plan on 25 March, with the objective to adapt work arrangements to the COVID19 context (including teleworking; suspension of all non-critical missions; etc.). Since 28 March the first draft of WFP’s assistance strategy was finalized to adapt to the above preventative measures.

• Discussions between the Humanitarian Country Team and the Government are ongoing to ensure that humanitarian access is guaranteed to reach vulnerable communities despite government restrictions due to COVID-19.

• In a nutshell WFP’s operational adjustments include a review of all activities, purchase of hygiene sanitary kits for partners and distribution sites, adapting targeting protocol, a remote monitoring system, prepositioning additional food stocks to cover for at least three-month needs.

• Consultations with National Mechanism for the Prevention and Management of Disasters and Food Crises (DNPGCA),
Ministry of Community Development, High Commissioner for the 3N [Nigeriens Nourish Nigeriens] Initiative (HC3N) are ongoing on the adjustment of programme activities to ensure harmonization of modalities and activities’ implementation.
WFP is also aiming to build upon the DNPGCA’s existing coordination mechanisms, to reinforce the harmonization of modalities and activities and move forward with a common COVID-19 strategy, including for the DNPGCA Plan de Soutien.