Children in crisis

Additional funds from Sweden to support UNICEF humanitarian action in Niger

Lalaina Fatratra Andriamasinoro
Children in crisis
UNICEF Niger/Vincent Tremeau

13 March 2019

NIAMEY (Niger), 12 March 2019 - The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) commits additional US$ 640,000 to support UNICEF humanitarian action in Niger. The country continues to face acute and chronic humanitarian crises that are unlikely to improve in the coming years.

Across the country, UNICEF estimates that 2.3 million people, including 1.3 million children, will require humanitarian assistance in 2019. Early this year, UNICEF appealed for $45.9 million to support its work for children in humanitarian crises in Niger.

“Providing these children with the support they need is critical, but without significant and sustained support, many will continue to fall through the cracks. We are profoundly grateful that Sweden has once again committed to the children of Niger” stated Felicite Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger.

In 2019, UNICEF estimates that 50 per cent of people in need in the country will be located in the three regions affected by population movement — Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabéri. 
UNICEF will respond to both chronic and acute crises in the country. The linkages between humanitarian action and development programming will be strengthened and operationalized, particularly in the Diffa region, and emergency capacity to respond to acute crises will be improved through the strengthened Rapid Response Mechanism.

“This flexible funding support will allow us to accelerate our response and to bridge humanitarian action and development work. Our goal is to both meet children’s immediate needs and improve their lives well into the future” Tchibindat continues.

In Tahoua and Tillabéri regions, strategic partnerships and innovative community-based approaches will help UNICEF and partners overcome access challenges and reach vulnerable populations with multi-sectoral support. UNICEF will continue to strengthen national health and nutrition systems to deliver services in emergencies, including Severe Acute Malnutrition prevention and treatment, measles and polio vaccination and free health care for children under 5 years.

In 2018, SIDA’s financial support has helped UNICEF accelerate its multisectoral response to children and communities affected by conflict and floods in several regions. Psychosocial support and child protection services were provided to children affected by conflict, and children presumably associated with armed forces and armed groups benefitted from alternative care in the Diffa region.
 
Through this funding, UNICEF also provided emergency health services, including measles vaccination and seasonal malaria chemoprevention services, mobile clinics and community based integrated management services in several conflict-affected departments bordering Nigeria and Mali. Sweden’s support also helped quickly respond to cholera outbreak in the regions of Maradi and Dosso.

 “We count on our donors’ generosity to make children and young people safer today and better off tomorrow. Every support, large or small, can make a difference” concludes Tchibindat.