Niger continues to suffer significant humanitarian needs due to conflicts, displacement, food insecurity, child malnutrition, and epidemics. The violence affecting several regions continues forcing people to leave their homes.
Delivering humanitarian aid to these vulnerable populations remains a challenge due to the ongoing violence. As of 26 July, a military coup suspended the former democratic regime creating political instability in the country.
Following the issue of sanctions by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the country is experiencing disruptions in the supply chain of necessities and drastic price increases. This will aggravate the vulnerability of the people in need.
What are the needs?
More than 4.3 million people need humanitarian assistance in Niger (16% of the population), among the lowest-ranking countries on the United Nations Human Development Index (189th out of 191 countries).
During the 2023 lean season (June to August), around 3.3 million people are food insecure.
Additionally, 7.3 million people are moderately food insecure. They are at risk of becoming severely food insecure given the gravity of the unfolding political crisis combined with ongoing seasonal stressors and continued insecurity.
Around 335,000 people across the country have been displaced due to violence. Additionally, over 258,000 refugees have fled insecurity from neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria.
The global acute malnutrition rate for children under 5 years is 12.2%, and the prevalence of severe acute malnutrition is 2.4%, above the emergency threshold of 2%.
Non-state armed groups threaten civilian populations in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria. By July 2023, the bordering regions of Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua and Tillabéri hosted about 258,000 refugees. In addition, there are 335,000 internally displaced persons in Niger.
Last year, 990 schools were closed or non-operational due to armed conflict, affecting around 84,000 students.
Due to insecurity and administrative constraints, humanitarian access remains a challenge
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 2023, the EU has allocated €36.6 million in humanitarian aid.
Last year, the EU provided €49.7 million in humanitarian assistance. This included an indicative €6 million from the Emergency Development Fund to address the food crisis following Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
EU humanitarian funding supports regions affected by conflict, epidemics, widespread food shortages, and high undernourishment rates among children. It focuses primarily on covering basic needs, including:
- nutritional care
- access to water
- education for children caught up in humanitarian crises.
The EU also provides 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.
Last updated: 04/09/2023
Facts & figures
More than 4.3 million people in need of humanitarian aid in 2023 (OCHA, Humanitarian Needs Overview)
335,000 internally displaced people in the regions of Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua, Tillabéri and Niamey
Niger hosts about 258,000 refugees coming from Mali, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso
EU humanitarian funding:
€36.6 million in 2023
€49.7 million in 2022