Niamey, 16 September 2022 – The United Nations, in close collaboration with the Government of Niger, has activated an anticipatory action framework in Niger to prevent and mitigate the immediate impact of insufficient rainfall related to drought and climate change. In support of this framework, Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths approved $9.5 million (6.2 billion CFA francs) from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to Niger.
With these funds, the United Nations and its partners will support some of the most vulnerable and at-risk communities through humanitarian interventions that will help mitigate the impact of the rainfall deficit recorded between June and July 2022.
“Our humanitarian system must be as proactive as possible to prevent suffering. This CERF allocation should be a reminder to all to fully fund ongoing operations and support the anticipatory approach,” said Martin Griffiths.
According to the Humanitarian Coordinator in Niger, Ms. Louise Aubin, the humanitarian community in collaboration with the government, has already demonstrated its ability to help people in need. ” As of 30 June of this year, we have provided life-saving assistance to 2.2 million people. It is time to build on this foundation to prevent suffering and look to the future differently,” she said.
In Niger, rainfall deficits are impacting many farmers who have experienced failed plantings up to four times this season already. Droughts are also the main factor in the deterioration of livelihoods of pastoralists in agropastoral and pastoral areas, contributing to their vulnerability and poverty.
The current rainy season is essential for farmers and pastoralists to produce enough food to meet the food and livelihood needs of their families, communities, and livestock until next year’s harvest. However, concerns about the outcome of this season exist in locations where rainfall measured between 1 June and 31 July 2022 is among the lowest in the last 30 years, particularly in the southwestern part of the country.
According to the Minister of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management, Mr. Laouan Magagi, the activation of the framework for anticipatory action is more than beneficial in the context of Niger. “Indeed, our country is subject to climate change hazards resulting in high variability, including changes in hydrological regimes, rainfall, extreme temperatures alternating with floods and droughts have become recurrent. Our country has been selected in 2021 as a pilot and now the threshold has been reached for the activation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank, on behalf of the Government, all the partners who have contributed to this activation, which greatly opens the door to the support of the United Nations and its partners to Niger’s vulnerable communities exposed to various crises and shocks”.
The humanitarian situation in Niger remains complex due to the multiple crises affecting the country. This year, 3.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance due to insecurity, global economic shocks and last year’s erratic rains. According to the March 2022 Harmonized Framework results, 4.4 million people would be food insecure during the lean season that is ending.