All 8 regions of the country are affected by flooding, with over 140,000 people displaced from their homes by the devastating floods that swept away their fields, and more than 40 deaths (from July to mid-September 2023)
Over 2 million children require humanitarian assistance in 2023
1.5 million children under the age of 5 are suffering from malnutrition, with at least 430,000 experiencing the deadliest form of malnutrition
3.3 million people are facing severe food insecurity across Niger.
Niamey, Niger, September 28, 2023 — The heavy rains recorded since the beginning of July 2023 in Niger have led to devastating floods for communities and their livelihoods. In less than three months, all eight regions of the country have been affected, displacing over 140,000 people, and resulting in more than 40 deaths. These floods have also caused significant damage to the populations' means of sustenance.
Roseline Kamdem, Deputy Director- Programs at IRC in Niger, said
"In the face of numerous fatalities, the collapse of over 12,000 homes, the destruction of more than 2,000 hectares of crops, and the loss of over 3,000 head of livestock, the IRC continues to provide the necessary aid to communities and affected families in Niger who are striving daily to recover and regain control of their lives. Just three weeks ago, in Maradi, one of the most flood-affected regions, the IRC multipurpose cash grants to over 8,000 people in 850 households. However, persisting barriers to humanitarian access are preventing swift responses to this urgent situation,
"This September is particularly difficult for populations facing the consequences of floods and crop destruction, as well as increased supply needs while borders are closed with several neighboring countries. Additionally, the events of July 26th and the subsequent economic sanctions have contributed to an increase in attacks by armed groups in regions such as Tahoua and Tillabéry. Added to this are high food prices and inadequate purchasing power for poor households to access food and meet their nutritional needs.
"The functioning of markets in regions like Tahoua, Maradi, Diffa, and especially Tillabéry is significantly disrupted by insecurity. We have observed a significant increase in prices of essential commodities in active markets, as well as the scarcity of certain high-consumption products. Cereal prices have risen significantly compared to the same period last year (August 2022): 25% for maize, 19% for rice and 5% for millet. Prices of oil and sugar have also experienced an increase.
"More than 3 million people, representing 13% of the population, are experiencing hunger in Niger. The situation is even more dire for children, as cases of malnutrition continue to rise and require swift intervention. The country's statistics indicate that nearly 1.5 million children under the age of 5 are suffering from malnutrition, with at least 430,000 children experiencing the most lethal form. In 2023, in Niger, 4.3 million people, including over 2 million children, require humanitarian assistance. These numbers are likely to increase if food prices continue to rise and if the necessary aid is not delivered in the coming weeks.
"The IRC calls on all stakeholders who can support this cause to work towards the delivery of our vital containers for malnutrition treatment. They have been stuck at the border since the start of the political events in August 2023, limiting our capacity to assist populations affected by the food crisis and floods."
The IRC is also calling for humanitarian exemptions in Niger, as they represent hope for thousands of people. These humanitarian exemptions are an essential pillar for providing vital assistance to the most vulnerable communities, ensuring access to healthcare, education, and the now crucial food aid.”
See here for more information on the IRC’s recommendations to tackling acute child malnutrition.