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Working in Crises and Conflict

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Working in Crises and Conflict

Niger ranks last on UNDP’s 2013 Human Development Index.  Chronic food insecurity and infectious disease have resulted in some of the highest rates of malnutrition and mortality in the world. As of June 2013 U.N. estimates place Niger’s food-insecure population at nearly 3 million people. Over forty percent of children under five are chronically malnourished and the rates of acute malnutrition are well beyond the WHO Serious threshold of 10%[1] . Regional instability also compounds Niger’s problems, and as of late September approximately 50,000 Malian refugees remained in the country, according to UNHCR. [2]

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

USAID humanitarian assistance to Niger is provided primarily by the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, (OFDA) and USAID Office of Food for Peace (FFP), mainly for agricultural, livelihood, food security, and health and nutrition interventions to support populations’ recovery from food insecurity while reinforcing their capacity to cope with future emergencies. USAID development assistance to Niger, re-instituted in 2006 following a ten-year hiatus after the 1996 coup, supports the Government of Niger (GoN) and partners in enhancing resilience to climatic shocks among the most vulnerable populations, addressing chronic food insecurity in the country, and countering violent extremism. USAID is bridging the divide between its humanitarian and development assistance through joint planning and implementation as part of the broader resilience agenda.

ENHANCING RESILIENCE

Niger is one of the focus countries of the USAID Sahel Resilience Strategy. The strategy represents a new way of doing business that combines USAID’s humanitarian and development expertise and activities to develop and implement a multi-sectoral, coordinated approach toward enhancing people’s ability to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from future climatic shocks and stresses. USAID will align with existing strategies such as the GoN’s 3N Initiative (Les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens) and will leverage work done by other development partners in Niger.

ADDRESSING CHRONIC FOOD INSECURITY

In 2012, FFP launched three five-year food security projects with a total value of over $100M.  These projects will address food insecurity, and increase resilience to future food insecurity, through economic growth and health and nutrition interventions for over 800,000 individuals, improving disaster risk management and improving the status of children and women in target communities. At present, one in every three years in Niger is associated with poor food security conditions, highlighting the challenge faced by Nigeriens. [3]

CONFLICT MITIGATION AND PREVENTION

Niger is one of three countries, along with Mali and Chad, that participate in the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership (TSTCP) to combat violent extremism (VE) in the Sahel region. USAID’s role in TSCTP is managed by the West Africa Regional Mission in Ghana and the Africa Bureau in Washington (the Mali program is currently suspended). USAID’s current TSCTP activities include a regional Peace for Development (PDEV II) program in Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad; and a research agenda examining the drivers of VE in the Sahel and providing a dynamic framework for development programming to counter violent extremism.

HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Both OFDA and FFP actively provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable Nigeriens recovering from climatic, economic and man-made shocks that have affected the region in recent years. In FY 13 USAID provided more than $41.6 million in humanitarian assistance to Niger, in coordination with $9.5M in humanitarian assistance provided by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration to support refugees displaced to Niger.

 


[1] Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART), National Nutrition Survey Results, June 2013

[2] O.N.U. Niger : Appel global Revue à mi-parcours 2013 (http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Niger%20Appel%20global%20Revue%202013.pdf)

[3] U.S.G.S. A Climate Trend Analysis of Niger (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2012/3080/fs2012-3080.pdf)

Last updated: February 25, 2014

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