Successive food crises, extreme poverty, displacement and rapid population growth are eroding people’s resilience in Niger. Even in good harvesting years, more than 4 million Nigeriens experience food shortages. Humanitarian needs in Niger are immense as a result of lasting food insecurity, high global malnutrition of children under age five and the displacement of people fleeing the conflicts in neighbouring Mali and Nigeria.
The situation has deteriorated in 2015, with the spill-over of the conflict in Nigeria leading to increasing numbers of displaced and refugee populations in the Diffa region. Access to the population in this area, especially to those living out of camps in the vicinity of Lake Chad, remains a challenge due to security constraints and the limitations entailed by the declaration of state of emergency. Despite the presence of more than 30 humanitarian agencies, capacity to implement activities on the ground is limited.
EU humanitarian response
The European Commission is among the largest donors providing life-saving and emergency aid. In 2015, it supported the treatment of over 200 000 children under five years old suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition. In 2016, more than 265 000 severely malnourished children are planned for treatment on EU funds, which will cover 66% of the national caseload.
The European Commission has allocated nearly €40 million in humanitarian assistance for Niger in 2016.