The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is providing life-saving food assistance to an increasing number of vulnerable people affected by population displacements in Niger, thanks to EUR 11 million provided by the European Union's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO). The funding has allowed WFP to meet the needs of 584,500 food-insecure people in Niger through cash and food assistance in 2022.
"This support from ECHO has been crucial for WFP to implement its emergency response. This partnership has been vital in responding to the humanitarian needs of vulnerable groups, including IDPs, refugees, and host families that are particularly affected by population displacements as a result of socio-economic pressures on livelihoods and competition over dwindling natural resources,'' said Jean-Noel Gentile, WFP Representative and Country Director in Niger.
In 2022, close to 70 percent of WFP's emergency food assistance in Niger was delivered via cash, a major shift from in-kind food transfers. Cash-based transfers remain the most effective and efficient way for WFP to help vulnerable families and individuals combat hunger, malnutrition and improve their food security.
The unprecedented food crisis that has affected 4.4 million people in Niger in 2022 (Cadre Harmonisé, Nov 2022) is driven by the combined effects of conflict in neighbouring countries, climate shocks such as droughts and floods, economic and political crises, poor harvests and rising costs of food and fuel. Insecurity forced 376,000 people to flee their homes in 2022.
The November 2022 Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis shows that 2.9 million people are projected to be acutely severely food insecure during the June-August 2023 lean season - around 11 percent of the country's population. While this represents a drop from the unprecedented levels seen in 2022, this figure remains the second highest since Cadre Harmonisé analyses began in Niger, and well above that of a "normal year" like 2020/21. The food security situation in Niger remains extremely concerning, given the continuing high food prices, displacement and security trends.