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Concern continuing lifesaving work in Niger following recent instability
Concern Worldwide is calling for humanitarian work not to be hampered in Niger where it continues to provide lifesaving support to struggling families facing an unprecedented food crisis.
Concern Worldwide is calling for humanitarian work not to be hampered in Niger where it continues to providing lifesaving support to struggling families facing an unprecedented food crisis.
The Irish aid organisation has been in the West African nation for 20 years and is continuing its humanitarian and development work there despite the recent instability in the country where 4.3 million people are in need of aid, including two million children.
“We remain focussed on our work and urge all stakeholders to ensure that aid and humanitarian workers can reach those in need,” said Concern’s Niger Country Director, Francesco Tropea.
“Niger was already facing an unprecedented food crisis, with 2.9 million people experiencing severe food insecurity and requiring emergency food assistance.
“There are hundreds of thousands of children under five years of age suffering from acute malnutrition, which is fatal if not treated and also many malnourished pregnant and breastfeeding women.
“As of June 2023, 400,000 people were internally displaced. In addition, the country is hosting 250,000 refugees from the region.
“The people of Niger need help from the global community now more than ever.”
Mr Tropea said Concern’s Niger team of over 140 aid workers are safe and that programmes have resumed following a temporary pause last week to monitor the unfolding situation.
“Many thousands of families are currently receiving monthly cash support from Concern so they can afford to buy enough food to survive,” he said.
“This support is crucial as the price of a bag of rice has already increased 25-30% in the last week due to the growing instability in the country. The economic situation is likely to worsen as sanctions take effect.
“Concern is continuing to support the Ministry of Health to assess and treat sick and malnourished children coming to health centres in desperate need of food, clean water and nutritional and health support.
“It is essential that humanitarian workers can continue to work and provide assistance to prevent human suffering as the situation unfolds. In order to do so, international donors must continue to support humanitarian programming.
“We will continue to monitor events. The safety and security of our staff remains our utmost priority.”
Last week marked Concern’s 20th year in Niger where last year it reached three million people directly and indirectly through its humanitarian work.
Concern works in three of the most vulnerable regions of Niger, which are Tahoua, Tillaberi and Diffa.
The organisation said underfunding remains a major constraint to humanitarian responses in Niger with only 37 per cent of the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan funded by June.
Niger is a landlocked nation and the largest in West Africa with much of it covered by the Sahara and Sahel deserts, and has a population of over 25 million.
It is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UN reports, and is ranked 189 out of 191 countries in the 2021 UNDP Human Development Index, which cites land degradation and “economic and climatic shocks” among its vulnerabilities.
For more information or to support Concern’s work please go to concern.net.
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