Niger: Children are the most vulnerable
In Niger, humanitarian needs were already at an all-time high long before the spread of COVID-19. Rising food insecurity, limited healthcare, recurrent disease outbreaks, floods and droughts have exacerbated the humanitarian situation. More than half of all children - 3 million - were in need of humanitarian assistance.
"The COVID-19 outbreak is creating significant additional pressure and aggravates vulnerabilities in affected populations. Actions taken to contain the spread of the coronavirus have slowed down the delivery of humanitarian assistance and social services for children’s care and protection in the country” explained Dr. Félicité Tchibindat, UNICEF Representative in Niger.
CERF has allocated US$ 2.2 million to scale up urgent efforts in the areas of nutrition, education, child protection and access to drinking water and sanitation services for displaced populations and host communities in the regions of Tahoua, Tillabéri and Zinder. The funding will help more than 20,000 children under the age of five suffering from severe acute malnutrition, ensure that 6,000 school-age children will have access to quality education in a safe and protective environment and provide access to drinking water and sanitation to 4,900 people.
13 year old Aicha is using one of the new handwashing stations in Niger. Credit: UNICEF/ Juan Haro
An additional US $ 2 million is supporting access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, quality education for children and assistance in emergency shelters for the recently displaced populations in the regions of Tahoua, Diffa and Tillabéri.
Finally, a tranche of US $ 700,000 has been allocated to support the current response to the Covid-19 pandemic - and will cover activities carried out within the framework of health, infection prevention and control as well as risk communication and community engagement.
"Now more than ever is the time for global solidarity. The costs of the pandemic – combined with the shocks related to the humanitarian situation - are immediate for children and, if unaddressed, may persist throughout their lives. We are deeply grateful for this additional support from CERF, which came at a critical time for the survival, development and protection of children in Niger." concluded Dr. Félicité Tchibindat.