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 continues to face a combination of crises: persistent armed conflicts, climate-induced disasters, nutritional emergencies and epidemics, all of which have been exacerbated by political instability following a military coup in late July 2023. In 2024, an estimated 4.3 million people, including 2.4 million children, will require humanitarian aid.
- 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 in the design of all programmes.
- UNICEF requires $109.7 million to provide multisectoral life-saving assistance to vulnerable children and women (including people living with disabilities) affected by humanitarian crises. The nutrition, education, health and child protection sectors make up 75.2 per cent of this funding requirement.
Key planned targets
436,348 children with severe wasting admitted for treatment
390,000 women and children accessing gender-based violence mitigation, prevention, response
395,100 children accessing formal or non-formal education, including early learning
239,200 people accessing a sufficient quantity and quality of water
Funding requirements for 2024
Country needs and strategy
Forced displacement in the Niger triggered by conflict, malnutrition, recurrent health epidemics, cyclical floods and drought has placed 4.3 million people, including 2.4 million children, in need of humanitarian assistance in 2024. Insecurity makes many of those in need hard to reach with humanitarian assistance.
Armed conflicts continued to afflict the areas of the country that border Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Nigeria, primarily impacting residents in Diffa, Maradi, Tillabéri and Tahoua Regions. Hostilities among parties to the conflict and attacks by non-state armed groups have displaced more than 660,000 people.
The Niger is one of the most vulnerable countries to various shocks, including climate hazards (floods), epidemics, insecurity and a migration crisis. At the same time, community resilienceis low due to a rate of extreme poverty of 44 per cent. Political and economic sanctions put in place following a military coup in July 2023 have worsened this situation: restricted access to banking services and trade have led to price increases for essential goods, making it difficult for families to meet their basic needs. This comes while more than 2.3 million people are already food insecure, with 436,348 children aged 6–59 months requiring treatment for severe wasting.
Several epidemics have been recorded in 2023, including measles, malaria, meningitis and diphtheria (more than 1,000 reported cases and 69 deaths). As of 9 October 2023, more than 161,000 individuals had been been left with significant needs due to floods (which also caused 52 deaths). And flooding and displacement only heighten WASH needs, with 1.5 million people requiring access to safe water.
Additionally 444,290 students (52 per cent girls and 4.2 per cent children with disabilities) are in need of emergency education assistance. As of 1 September 2023, 987 schools remained closed due to insecurity, mainly in Tillabéri Region, where 93 per cent of schools were closed. The security crisis in the country has also led to an increase in grave violations committed against children in the Niger, including abductions, killing and maiming, and 1,085,458 23 children require child protection services.
The Niger remains a significant transit hub for migration to Europe, with thousands of people passing through Agadez Region annually. Many migrants, among them unaccompanied and separated children, arrive in precarious situations and once arrived face dangers and exploitation.
UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy involves multisectoral, integrated interventions in health, nutrition, water, hygiene, sanitation, child protection, education, social protection and mental health and psychosocial support, primarily in regions affected by the crises. UNICEF's strong field presence and technical expertise will facilitate rapid deployment of emergency responses in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action.
Within the Rapid Response Mechanism, UNICEF leads technical coordination, procurement, monitoring, multisectoral assessments, pre-positioning of contingency stocks, expansion of multipurpose humanitarian cash transfers and readiness for emergencies. A humanitarian–development–peace nexus approach has been adopted to link humanitarian assistance and development initiatives.
UNICEF’s health strategy aims to ensure access and continuity of health and immunization services (measles and diphtheria response) through the organization of mobile clinics in hard-to-reach areas, including training, and the provision of medicines and emergency consumables. Life-saving treatment of severe wasting is a priority through a health system strengthening strategy as well as sectoral coordination; prevention interventions include screening of children for wasting and improvement of breastfeeding and dietary diversity in children, adolescent girls and pregnant women. WASH interventions will enhance the resilience of 447,200 vulnerable people, including women and girls, and include promotion of hygiene practices, access to basic sanitation and provision of safe drinking water, and tailored cholera prevention efforts. UNICEF also aims to provide sustainable solutions for water supply and sanitation.
UNICEF provides quality, inclusive education to children in emergencies by distributing learning materials; training teachers; installing temporary learning spaces for internally displaced people; promoting skills development programmes for adolescents, including mentoring programmes for girls; and strengthening community members' capacity for providing safe and secure learning environments.
UNICEF will enhance child protection and mental health support, focusing on safeguarding children from armed groups and from the effects of crises, preventing gender-based violence and providing care for survivors. UNICEF will also improve data on violations, reunite separated children with family and strengthen partner capacity for emergency response in conflict-affected regions.
UNICEF will strengthen community-based mechanisms, including working with local organizations, to reach those in hard-to-reach areas.
Cross-cutting strategies will dovetail with UNICEF's accountability to affected populations framework: UNICEF will bolster accountability to children and work closely with community leaders, the Government and non-governmental organizations using a risk management plan to ensure zero tolerance for fraud, harassment and sexual exploitation and abuse during cash transfers. UNICEF will also continue to support greater shock-responsiveness of the national social protection system.
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.