Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition, education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- The Niger is facing a combination of acute and protracted humanitarian crises. Armed conflicts continue to contribute to population displacement in a country that is highly vulnerable to climate-related disasters, multiple epidemics and nutritional crises. In 2023, about 3.7 million people, including 2 million children, will need humanitarian assistance in the country. Although the 2022 agricultural season is expected to be productive, pockets of high-risk food insecurity and wasting will remain throughout 2023, particularly in areas facing insecurity, drought and flooding.
- UNICEF will provide a timely, coordinated and multisectoral humanitarian response that focuses on the needs of children and women. A systematic gender and disability lens will be applied to all analyses and programme design.
- UNICEF requires US$72.6 million to provide life-saving, multisectoral assistance to vulnerable children and women (including people living with disabilities) affected by humanitarian crises in the Niger. The nutrition, education and WASH sectors account for 55.3 per cent of this funding requirement.
Key planned results for 2023
430,000 children with severe wasting admitted for treatment
380,000 women and children accessing gender-based violence mitigation, prevention, response
132,300 children accessing formal or non-formal education, including early learning
430,000 people reached with critical WASH supplies
Funding requirements for 2023
Country needs and strategy
Armed conflicts continue to afflict the areas of the Niger that border Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Nigeria, predominantly affecting populations living in Diffa, Maradi, Tillaberi and Tahoua Regions. Forced displacements, malnutrition, recurrent health epidemics, cyclical floods and drought in the Niger have placed more than 3.7 million people, including 2 million children, in need of humanitarian assistance in 2023. Many of those in need are located in areas that are hard to reach due to insecurity, which remains a major bottleneck for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Insecurity is ongoing, with heightened incidences of such grave violations against children as abduction, recruitment by non-state armed groups and child marriage. Attacks in the Lake Chad region have prevented nearly 254,308 people in Diffa Region from returning home. Nearly 167,744 people are displaced in Tahoua and Tillaberi Regions. More than 57,110 refugees who fled community-based violence in northern Nigeria are currently living in Maradi Region, together with more than 18,000 internally displaced people. Food insecurity is pervasive in the Niger. Between January and September 2022, 579,180 children under 5 years of age suffered from wasting. This includes more than 304,108 children (61.8 percent) who experienced severe wasting. Nearly 1.3 million people required access to emergency WASH services.
Epidemics, including measles, meningitis and cholera remain widespread. Essential services have been disrupted by both conflict and floods. Difficulties in purchasing vaccines for vaccine-preventable diseases have resulted in stockouts and delayed the implementation of field activities.
The education sector continues to face multiple challenges that are exacerbating pressure on existing educational structures. Sixty per cent of children are out of school at the primary and lower secondary levels, making children and adolescents particularly vulnerable to the effects of conflict. As of September 2022, 890 schools were reported closed due to insecurity, affecting approximately 78,000 students. In 2022, children were targeted in 608 protection incidents, an increase of 25 per cent compared with 2021. More than 57,000 children have been traumatized by violence related to the attacks of armed groups and are in need of mental health and psychosocial support.
The Niger remains highly vulnerable to climate-related threats, including floods and drought. As of 22 September 2022, the country registered 241,760 people (28,885 households)9 affected by floods, along with 179 deaths.
In 2023, UNICEF's strong field presence and technical expertise will facilitate rapid deployment of emergency responses in the Niger in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humaniarian Action. UNICEF will respond to emergencies by improving multisectoral approaches, integrating risks and consolidating support through emergency cash transfers. UNICEF is responding to the multiple effects of the Sahel crisis, including forced displacement, food insecurity and malnutrition and school closures.
Within the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), UNICEF will continue to lead technical coordination and procurement, ensure monitoring, pariticpate in multisectoral assessments and pre-position contingency stocks to meet the vital needs of the affected population. UNICEF will expand humanitarian cash transfers to improve their flexibility and effectiveness; strengthen emergency preparedness; and implement a nexus approach linking humanitarian and development efforts.
UNICEF will ensure capacity strengthening of partners involved in the emergency response in Diffa, Tillaberi and Tahoua Regions.
UNICEF will provide treatment for severe wasting and strengthen the health system and community platforms to ensure its early detection and quality care. To reduce malnutrition in the long-term, UNICEF’s response aims to increase the proportion of infants aged 0-5 months who are exclusively breastfed to 50 per cent and the proportion of children aged 6-23 months who are receiving the minimum dietary diversity to 35 per cent (by 2025).
WASH interventions will strengthen the resilience of vulnerable populations through the promotion of good hygiene practices and improved access to basic sanitation and safe drinking water in communities, schools and health centres. UNICEF will support cholera prevention and establish preparedness actions.
UNICEF's health strategy aims to support continuity of health and immunization services through surveillance, immunization, case management and the organization of mobile clinics in hard-to-reach areas.
UNICEF will support the continuity of learning in safe and inclusive environments, while providing learning materials for teachers and children affected by humanitarian crises. Skills development programmes for adolescents will be promoted, including mentoring programmes for girls. Education stakeholders will work in close collaboration with child protection actors and government partners to ensure incorporation of child protection elements as well as gender and inclusion aspects within the education response.
Crisis-affected children will receive comprehensive child protection services, including psychosocial support. UNICEF will enhance gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse risk mitigation through stronger integration into all programmatic interventions. The monitoring of grave violations and situations of concern will be reinforced by including prevention activities, with the aim of providing children with a safe and secure environment.
Find out more about UNICEF's work
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Niger; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.