Flexible funding for humanitarian response

Flexible funding was pivotal to respond to humanitarian needs in Niger

Flexible funding for humanitarian response
UNICEF Niger/Islamane
07 July 2020

Niger continues to face a combination of acute and chronic humanitarian crises. About 2.9 million people, including 1.6 million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance, many living in hard-to-reach areas. Conflict and insecurity have exacerbated existing vulnerabilities and suffering caused by natural disasters, health emergencies and structural issues.

UNICEF works with national actors to strengthen countrywide health and nutrition systems and increase national capacities to mitigate risks and respond to cyclical and chronic emergencies, including flooding, malnutrition, disease outbreaks and epidemics. This includes Severe Acute Malnutrition prevention and treatment, vaccination campaigns, cholera preparedness and health care.

“In 2019, flexible funding allowed UNICEF to be more agile, and it gave us the freedom to steer resources to the most critical parts of our operations to deliver our humanitarian mandate where it was needed the most,” says Felicite Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger.

In Niger, flexible humanitarian thematic funding filled critical funding gaps to implement rapid response mechanisms in volatile operational environments, reaching 116,000 people with food assistance, over 67,000 with non-food items and over 45,000 with WASH and emergency shelters. Some 177 children associated with armed groups and forces in Diffa also received social support.

The Netherlands retained its position as the largest government contributor to Global Humanitarian Thematic Funding for humanitarian action. Partners that are consistent in providing support to GHTF over the years continue to be essential in supporting UNICEF to reach the most vulnerable, crisis-affected and forgotten children. Each one of these resource partners, regardless of the size of their contribution, shares in the achievements of GHTF worldwide.

In 2019, UNICEF responded to chronic and acute needs by delivering an integrated package of services in nutrition, WASH, cholera prevention, education, essential household items, health and child protection. Partnerships with the Government, non-governmental organizations and community groups were crucial to working in hard-to-reach areas.

As a result, nearly 207,000 children with SAM received therapeutic feeding and nearly 317,000 children were vaccinated against measles. Nearly 389,000 people at risk of waterborne diseases received hygiene kits or benefited from hygiene promotion and sensitization campaigns. Over 24,000 children under 5 years gained access to life-saving health services through fixed, mobile and community-based activities.

More than 30,000 children received learning materials and teacher training on psychosocial support was critical to improving normalcy for over 20,500 children who have experienced violence and displacement. More than 2,700 children benefited from direct psychosocial support. Under UNICEF technical leadership, the Rapid Response Mechanism conducted 115 assessments and delivered multi-sectoral assistance, including essential household and shelter items, to nearly 48,000 people.

UNICEF acknowledges the partners who have supported GHTF in 2019 – they are the lifeline for flexible resources in humanitarian response.