Niger continues to suffer significant humanitarian needs due to the conflict, food shortages, child malnutrition, and epidemics.
The violence affecting several regions continues forcing people to abandon their homes, displacing around 264,000 people across the country. Additionally, 260,000 refugees have fled insecurity in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria.
Delivering humanitarian aid to these vulnerable populations remains a challenge due to the ongoing violence.
What are the needs?
More than 3.7 million people need humanitarian assistance in Niger, the lowest-ranking country in the United Nations’ Human Development Index. Over 2.5 million people are already severely food insecure due to poor rainfall patterns, increase in staple food prices and insecurity.
More than 3.6 million people (over 20% of the rural population) will be at risk of being severely food insecure during the next lean season (June – August). This is a 57% increase compared to the same period in 2021.
The rate of global acute malnutrition for children under 5 years is 12.5% and the prevalence of severe acute malnutrition is at 2.7%, above the emergency threshold of 2%.
Non-state armed groups threaten civilian populations in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. By the end of 2021, the bordering regions of Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua and Tillabéri hosted about 260,000 refugees.
Due to growing insecurity within Niger’s borders, there are over 264,000 internally displaced people, who mostly rely on humanitarian assistance for their basic needs.
In 2021, 758 schools were closed or non-operational due to armed conflict, affecting around 73,000 students.
Niger faced a cholera outbreak with around 5,600 cases and 166 deaths, mainly in the Maradi region. Since 4 December, no new cholera cases were reported.
Due to insecurity and administrative constraints, humanitarian access remains a challenge. The Nigerien authorities recommend humanitarian actors use armed escorts, which contradicts the need for neutrality to operate in conflict-affected areas. Dialogues with the Government have allowed to better adapt to local humanitarian and security contexts.
How are we helping?
The EU is one of the leading humanitarian donors in Niger, providing emergency and life-saving aid to people in need.
In 2022, the EU is providing an initial amount of €43 million in humanitarian assistance. The funding will support regions affected by conflict, epidemics, widespread food shortages, and high undernourishment rates among children.
EU humanitarian funding focuses primarily on covering basic needs, including:
- nutritional care
- access to water
- education for children caught up in humanitarian crises.
We also provide protection to vulnerable people affected by conflict (victims of gender-based violence, unaccompanied children, disabled people), natural hazards floods or epidemics, including COVID-19 and humanitarian air services.
Humanitarian crises caused by conflict escalate rapidly. Through the rapid response mechanism, the EU supports organisations responding quickly to meet the basic needs of vulnerable people when they face specific shocks.
In addition, the EU works to strengthen the preparedness of communities and authorities facing recurrent food and nutritional crises, natural hazards and population displacements.
In light of the volatile security situation in Niger, the EU continues to advocate for a safe working environment for humanitarian workers, where respect for humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law provides the basis for the humanitarian agenda and response.
The European Commission is also providing €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the rollout of vaccination campaigns in countries in Africa with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems.
In Niger, €1,950 million is allocated to support vaccination campaigns for the most vulnerable people, in particular migrants, internally displaced people, and refugees.
Last updated: 15/02/2022
Picture: © Apsatou Bagaya/Concern Worldwide, 2019
Facts & figures
More than 3.7 million people in need of humanitarian aid in 2022 (OCHA, Humanitarian Needs Overview)
264,000 internally displaced people in the regions of Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua, and Tillabéri.
Niger hosts about 260,000 refugees coming from Mali, Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
EU humanitarian funding:
€43 million in 2022