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OCHA disburses $15m for Niger’s humanitarian needs

This funding from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is part of the first ever…

This funding from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is part of the first ever regional pooled fund for West and Central Africa.The UN agency, in a statement received by APA on Monday, said Niger is facing “a complex humanitarian emergency where ongoing violence and insecurity have been heightened by endemic poverty, demographic pressure and climatic shocks.”

In Niger’s cross-border regions, the document points out, “armed conflicts in neighboring countries (Burkina, Mali and Nigeria) continue to aggravate instability. People’s displacements and contagion effects are strongly felt.”

To date, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that “the Humanitarian Response Plan for Niger is only 14 percent covered, with only $75 million received out of a total of $523 million required.”

Niger is therefore “the most underfunded country in the region.”  A “funding gap” for humanitarian actions is noted throughout the Sahel. According to OCHA in 2020, the region’s response plans were 53 percent funded on average, and by mid-2021, only 21 percent of the required funds had been received.

According to a study by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 29 million people in Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger and north-eastern Nigeria are in need of humanitarian assistance.

With this pooled fund, OCHA intends to foster “regional coordination and synergies to address the many interconnected challenges of the Sahel.”

In its implementation, the types of funding will be expanded so that “humanitarian partners can provide effective assistance in the least funded locations, access the hardest-to-reach vulnerable populations and respond to new and emerging crises.”

For her part, Julie Belanger, head of OCHA’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa, said that “lessons learned and best practices will be shared among countries receiving funding envelopes and cross-border initiatives will be supported where relevant.”

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