The first hours after a crisis are crucial. During emergencies, a timely response can save lives. Humanitarians need to know the terrain and find new alternatives to deliver aid, despite the complex environment. In countries like Niger, the humanitarian action needs to be fast, joint, and effective to reach the most vulnerable children across the country's borders.
The landlocked country situated in the heartland of the Sahel region has an estimated population of 20.65 million. Of which, 2.3 million people are in humanitarian need, and 1.26 are children. The country hosts 478,000 people victims of forced displacement due to conflict or migration, and 150,000 at risk of displacement or flooding.
The humanitarian needs are increasing given the chronic emergencies that every year hit Niger. The current humanitarian situation is exacerbated by on-going fragility and conflicts, and population movements as a result of on-going crises across Niger's borders, particularly the borders with Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria .
The country continues to face simultaneous emergencies that are stretching the capacities of the government and humanitarian partners to respond adequately. In this context, reaching those most vulnerable children became an imperative.
UNICEF and partners set up the Rapid Response Mechanism to deliver immediate and rapid responses from the start of the crisis in Tillabéri, Tahoua, and Diffa.
Maradi is a concerning new emergency situation on the Niger-Nigerian border due to the increasing of violence in Nigeria's North-Western states. Thousands of people, mainly women and children, have crossed the border into Maradi, Niger, fleeing extreme violence in Nigeria.
In Niger the RRM mechanism intervenes to respond to the most acute vulnerabilities in areas that are often difficult to access, in the sectors of water, hygiene and sanitation, food security, emergency shelter, non-food items and protection
Only in May 2019, the Rapid Response Mechanism conducted 4 multisectoral assessments (MSA) in three sites in Tahoua and one in Tillaberi, while one rapid protection evaluation (ERP) and one flash evaluation were conducted in Tillaberi region. The RRM partners provided assistance through non-food items (NFI) to 133 newly displaced families in Diffa region with OFDA financial support.
In 2019, an increasing focus is put on the strengthening and operationalization of the linkages between humanitarian action and development programming, particularly in the Diffa region. Emergency capacity to respond to acute crises is increased through the RRM.
Thanks to the support of ECHO, UNICEF and RRM partners have responded to the most acute needs in terms of food, water, hygiene and sanitation, non-food item, emergency shelter and protection in the areas of difficult access characterized by the absence of humanitarian actors.