Map of Niger
UNICEF photo: In Abala camp, Malian refugee children on their way to school, Abala camp located north-east of Niamey, Niger 2013. © UNICEF Niger/2013/H.Dicko In Abala camp, Malian refugee children on their way to school, Abala camp located north-east of Niamey, Niger 2013.

Niger

Updated January 2014

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:
356,324

children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months affected by severe acute malnutrition are admitted for treatment

1,035,506

children in humanitarian situations aged 0 to 11 months are vaccinated against measles during vaccination campaigns

450,000

people in humanitarian situations, including people at risk of cholera and host communities, access sufficient quantity of water of appropriate quality for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, use appropriate sanitation facilities, and have appropriate

2014 Requirements: US$38,900,000

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Snapshot

Total affected population: 3 million
Total affected children (under 18): 1.7 million

Total people to be reached in 2014: 1.4 million
Total children to be reached in 2014: 931,55410

With recurrent crises increasing in frequency, Niger is facing multifaceted humanitarian needs. These include structural challenges linked to generalized poverty, rapid population growth, security threats from neighbouring countries and population movements. In addition, exposure to climate change, limited access to basic social services and insufficient emergency preparedness are also impacting the humanitarian situation. Preliminary crop estimates indicate that net global cereal production levels will not cover household consumption needs in 2014.1 All but two regions have registered production deficits, with the most significant deficits in Tillabéri, Diffa and in localized areas in Tahoua and Zinder.2 The prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in children aged 6 to 59 months is 13.3 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively.3 While these rates have declined, they are still higher than the rates registered during the 2012 food and nutrition crisis. By global standards, these rates indicate a serious situation and translate into more than 1 million children suffering from acute malnutrition, including more than 370,000 children under 5 suffering from SAM, a life-threatening condition. The humanitarian community is expecting that food insecurity and a high burden of acute malnutrition will reoccur in 2014, as will additional population movements, epidemics and natural disasters, all of which will overlap with conflicts in the sub-region. Even within the context of voluntary repatriation to Mali in 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) anticipates that residual refugee cases will arrive in the Tillabéri and Tahoua regions. Moreover, the emergency situation in Nigeria is not expected to improve over the coming months, and additional Nigerian refugees are anticipated in Niger.

Humanitarian strategy

2014 programme targets

Nutrition

  • 356,324 children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months affected by SAM are admitted for treatment

Health

  • 1,035,506 children in humanitarian situations aged 0 to 11 months vaccinated against measles during vaccination campaigns

WASH

  • 450,000 people in humanitarian situations, including people at risk of cholera and host communities, access sufficient quantity of water of appropriate quality for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, use appropriate sanitation facilities, and have appropriate hygiene practices

Child protection

  • 15,000 children and adolescents in humanitarian situations access community spaces for socializing, playing and learning, and are protected from violence, abuse and exploitation

Education

  • 20,000 children and adolescents in humanitarian situations have continued access to quality formal and non-formal basic education (including through temporary structures) 

HIV and AIDS

  • 2,000 HIV-positive pregnant women in humanitarian situations continue to access antiretroviral medications for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and HIV prevention information

In 2014, the humanitarian strategy will be harmonised with the Government’s ‘Initiative 3N’.4 This integrated multi-sector, multi-actor approach, known as the Communes de Convergence, will combine humanitarian and development interventions to strengthen the capacity of Nigeriens and their institutions to cope with shocks. In particular, UNICEF will support the Government’s response to humanitarian needs by treating an estimated annual caseload of more than 356,000 children affected by SAM, more than 60,000 people affected by displacement and 250,000 households vulnerable to water-borne diseases. Working with partners and as lead of the nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) clusters, UNICEF will support the integration of a minimum WASH package within nutrition interventions to address the lack of access to WASH services, one of the main underlying causes of malnutrition and disease. In anticipation of the cholera season, non-food item kits, including soap and household water treatment, will be prepositioned in the most cholera-prone regions. UNICEF will continue to work with the Ministries of Health and Water and Sanitation to fight cholera using a long-term sustainable approach. UNICEF will also continue to support the Government’s efforts to coordinate with line ministries and non-governmental organizations to expand essential services to emergency-affected populations through community-based interventions, including nutrition, health, WASH, education and child protection networks. In response to the anticipated influx of additional refugees, UNICEF will continue to work with UNHCR and its partners to send refugee children living in camps and host communities to school during the 2014-2015 school year.

Results from 2013

UNICEF appealed for US$39 million for 2013, and as of the end of October 2013, US$26,950,329, or 68 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. In 2013, UNICEF and partners’ response focused on delivering programmes while building capacity at the local level. UNICEF supported the Government’s efforts to expand the outpatient treatment programme, which effectively provided SAM treatment to more than 300,000 children under 5. In partnership with non-governmental organizations, UNICEF supported health facilities to treat children suffering from SAM, experiencing medical complications and requiring intensive care. UNICEF enhanced psychosocial care, as well as medical and nutritional therapy, and promoted integrated preventive measures that focused on key family practices at facility, community and household levels. In collaboration with UNHCR, the Ministry of Education and partners from non-governmental organizations, UNICEF supported quality learning programmes for 5,002 Malian refugee children (including 2,372 girls) attending pre-school, primary, secondary and non-formal education levels; and facilitated the recruitment and training of teachers, the construction of safe classrooms with separate latrines for boys and girls and the provision of equipment and manuals for students and teachers. More than 400,000 people affected by cholera outbreaks, floods, the nutritional crisis and insecurity in neighbouring countries were assisted with WASH-related interventions. Implementation was challenged by security constraints, especially in areas bordering Mali, which meant that site visits to refugee camps had to be accompanied by armed escorts.

Results through 31 October 2013 unless noted

Funding requirements

Based on the country’s inter-agency Humanitarian Needs Overview and 2014 Strategic Response Plan,9  UNICEF is requesting US$38.9 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Niger. Without additional funding, UNICEF will be unable to support the national response to the country’s continuing nutrition crisis, and will not be able to provide critical WASH services to families facing the spread of cholera. Schools with separate latrines for girls and boys, basic school supplies and equipment, and qualified teachers for primary education are also urgently needed to uphold children’s right to education. This is particularly important in Malian refugee camps and reception areas and in locations experiencing an influx of Nigerian refugees.

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1 Famine Early Warning Systems Network, ‘West Africa Seasonal Monitor’, 3 November 2013.
2 Ibid.
3 Reported in the national nutrition survey conducted in May/June 2013.
4 Initiative 3N, Les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens, ‘Nigeriens Feeding Nigerieans’.
1 Famine Early Warning Systems Network, ‘West Africa Seasonal Monitor’, 3 November 2013.
5 Cluster and UNICEF targets are the same for nutrition, as UNICEF provides all therapeutic supplies required, coordinates the sector and supports the national information system.
6 Further to the consolidated appeals process mid-year review held in June, the SAM caseload has increased. This increase is mainly due to the fact that the cereal surplus obtained in Niger was quickly absorbed by Nigeria, which faced a food deficit in 2013. In addition, food prices increased in the regional markets and particularly in the Maradi region, which compromised access to adequate food for the most vulnerable households. It was observed that more children were being admitted for therapeutic feeding and that the target caseload changed in lieu of admission rate trends over the last several months.
7 Ibid.
8 Further to the consolidated appeals process mid-year review held in June, humanitarian performance monitoring indicators were reviewed, particularly for health, given the difficulty obtaining monthly immunization data in refugee camps and the fact that measles vaccination targeting children under 5 is only carried out through mass campaigns and did include refugees.
9 Requirements for Sahel countries are provisional, as inter-agency Strategic Response Plans were under development at the time of publication.
10 This number covers children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months affected by SAM and MAM that will be reached by UNICEF. It does not include children reached through vaccination campaigns.