Niger: Humanitarian situation needs urgent funding

Niamey, Niger (PANA) - The UN's Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Robert Piper, has warned that the humanitarian situation in Niger needs urgent funding to allow humanitarian organisations to continue saving lives.

Piper told a press conference, after a 5-day visit to the country, that Niger faces serious humanitarian problems including food insecurity, malnutrition, diseases and recurrent floods despite efforts from the government and its partners.

According to a government study, 23.7 per cent of the Nigerien population or a little more than 4.1 million people suffer from food insecurity, while 7.5 million or 42.6 per cent of the population are at risk.

According to the study, food perspectives for the coming months depend mainly on the evolution of prices on the markets and the efficiency of interventions as well as the security situation in the region.

In Niger, one of the countries worst hit by recurrent crises in the Sahel region, the last agricultural campaign had a deficit of 343,566 tons of cereals.

Also, the country faces an influx of people who are escaping from the security crises in Mali and northern Nigeria.

Piper said about 50,000 people from Mali and the same number from northern Nigeria have taken refuge in Niger.

''During my visit, I saw the reality of the impact of the crisis in northern Nigeria on poor communities in Niger, already affected by other crises,'' he said.

According to the UN, humanitarian organisations in Niger need about US$390 million in 2014 to be able to support 3.5 million people. As at 5 April, only 2 per cent of that amount has been mobilised.
-0- PANA SA/JSG/NA/SEG 5April2014

05 avril 2014 17:26:35

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