NIAMEY (Niger), 4 December 2019 – UNICEF today released its US$ 4.2 billion 2020 emergency appeal to reach 59 million children with life-saving support in 64 countries across the globe. It is its biggest ask of donors yet, representing 3.5 times the funds requested in 2010. In Niger, UNICEF and partners will need US$59.4 million to deliver critical humanitarian aid in 2020.
“Niger continues to face simultaneous emergencies that are stretching the capacities of the government and humanitarian partners to respond adequately,” affirms Felicite Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger.
An estimated 3.2 million people, including 1.73 million children, are affected by one or more of the crises impacting the Niger, including food insecurity, malnutrition, population displacement, disease outbreaks and natural disasters.
“The situation is exacerbated by instability in neighboring countries, resulting in an influx of thousands of refugees, returnees, internal displaced persons and migrants, all needing access to basic social services for survival” she continues.
As of 31 August 2019, increasing attacks on civilians in the Lake Chad region have prevented 229,000 people in Diffa from returning home. Mounting insecurity along the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali has exacerbated needs in Tillaberi and Tahoua, where nearly 77,000 people are displaced – 43 per cent more than in 2018. A new crisis erupted in April 2019, with over 39,000 people fleeing atrocities in northern Nigeria and arriving in Maradi. Recently, more than 134,000 people have been affected by floods, affecting the regions of Zinder, Diffa, Maradi and Agadez.
In 2020, UNICEF will work with national actors to respond to acute emergencies such as new population movements, but also to strengthen country-wide systems and increase national capacities to mitigate risks and respond to cyclical and chronic emergencies such as the malnutrition crisis. UNICEF will facilitate preparedness and contingency planning, while further integrating humanitarian and development programming, and emphasizing quick transitions to durable solutions.
UNICEF response will increase access and quality of education and comprehensive protection services for crisis-affected children, access to safe water and sanitation. UNICEF will contribute to optimal in-country coordination of humanitarian response by leading the Wash, Education and Nutrition clusters and Child protection sub-cluster, as well as through its technical leadership of the Rapid Response Mechanism.
In 2019, flexible funding enabled UNICEF to respond 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, as well as to reinforce in-country response capacities. However, as of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had mobilized USD 24million against the USD 45.9 million needed, which was largely insufficient to respond to the immediate needs of the affected populations.
“We are appealing to international solidarity to help the Niger Government and UNICEF to meet the urgent needs of children and their families and to improve their living conditions in affected areas” concludes Dr. Felicite Tchibindat.
Source: UN Children’s Fund