NIAMEY (Niger), 2nd June 2020 - The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated more than US$ 5 million this year to UNICEF to support the country's efforts to respond to emergencies, including those related to the current Covid-19 crisis.
Before the pandemic, already 3 million people, more than half children in Niger - were in need of humanitarian assistance, amid the risks posed by insecurity, malnutrition, recurrent disease epidemics and outbreaks, cyclical floods, droughts, and displacement.
"The COVID-19 outbreak is creating significant additional pressure and exacerbating 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 accelerate humanitarian responses 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.
More than 20,000 children under the age of five suffering from severe acute malnutrition will be treated thanks to this support ; more than 6,000 school-age children will have access to quality education in a safe and protective environment; more than 4,900 people will have access to drinking water and sanitation; and 3,750 children from the host, displaced and refugee communities will have access to socio-recreational and psychosocial support activities in child-friendly spaces.
An additional US $ 2 million will support an emergency rapid response for 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.
More than 21,000 displaced people will thus have access to safe and dignified shelter solutions in the Tillabéri, Tahoua and Diffa regions; 19,000 displaced people will have access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation in Tillabéri; and more than 6,500 school-age children will have access to quality inclusive education in Tillabéri and Tahoua.
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.
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