Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, is visiting Niger today to assess humanitarian needs in the country. Niger faces a deteriorating security situation as well as an unprecedented food and nutrition crisis due to impacts of climate change.
During his visit, Commissioner Lenarčič will announce an initial €43 million in EU humanitarian aid in Niger for 2022.
This new EU humanitarian aid will be targeted at areas and regions affected by the conflict, epidemics, widespread food shortages and high rates of child undernutrition. The primary focus of EU humanitarian funding is on addressing basic needs, including food, shelter, health, nutrition, access to safe water, and education for children in the context of humanitarian crises.
Commissioner Lenarčič said: “The humanitarian and security situation in Niger is worsening, with needs increasing. It is a situation mirrored across the Sahel region in many areas. The EU is committed to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to most vulnerable people in Niger. However, humanitarian aid cannot substitute the provision of social services largely under the remit of the national authorities. We are here to support all efforts to get aid to that need it most.”
During his visit, the Commissioner will meet with the President of the Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, the Prime Minister, Ministers and national institutions, local authorities, representatives of international humanitarian organisations, EU countries and UN agencies.
He will also visit an EU funded project supporting the integration of displaced persons and refugees into local communities to discuss with those affected as well as humanitarian organisations and local authorities about the current situation.
More than 3.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Niger, the lowest-ranking country in the United Nations' Human Development Index.
Many people suffer from food shortages. Over 2.5 million people are currently severely food insecure due to poor rainfall patterns, increase in staple food prices and insecurity.
An estimated 3.6 million people will be at risk of being severely food insecure during next lean season, an unprecedented level of food and nutrition crisis. Severe acute malnutrition at emergency level affects children under the age of 5. There is growing concern about food insecurity, especially in the Tillabéri region.
The extreme violence perpetrated by rebel-armed groups against civilians in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria exacerbates the humanitarian situation at the Sahel region. Only Niger hosts about 260,000 refugees coming from Mali, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
Due to increasing insecurity in Niger, about 265,000 internally displaced people are hosted in the regions of Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua, and Tillabéri. These people depend heavily on humanitarian aid to survive.
In the regions of Tillabéri and Tahoua, rebel armed groups have killed more than 700 civilians in 2021. Access to limited social services is hampered by recurrent attacks on health centres and schools.
- Publication date
- 23 February 2022
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)