Early actions to support vulnerable herders in the Niger’s Zinder and Tahoua regions

Early actions to support vulnerable herders in the Niger’s Zinder and Tahoua regions

26/04/2018

Millions of people rely on the Sahel’s drylands, whose livelihoods depend on livestock production. However, comparably lower investments were recently made towards people in these areas that, in addition to chronic poverty, food insecurity and conflict, have suffered from the effects of multiple droughts.

In the Niger, the 2017 agropastoral season has failed to meet herders’ expectations in terms of grain and forage production due to long periods of dry spells and a sudden deficit of rainfall in many departments of the country. As a result, in certain pastoral areas, animals face increased mortality risks and herders’ main source of livelihood and food security is at stake.

Thanks to the Belgian contribution, through FAO’s Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities ‒ Early Warning Early Action window, FAO is able to support 49 000 beneficiaries in drought-affected areas of Zinder and Tahoua regions. The intervention provides a rapid response to the threat of animal loss and mortality, as well as the means to prevent the deterioration of the food security of at least 7 000 vulnerable pastoralist households.

The project focuses on two early actions: the provision of livestock feed and the vaccination of animals against three of the most prevalent animal diseases before the peak of the lean season. This will contribute to strengthen the resilience of herders against future shocks and support pastoralist households in diversifying their livelihoods. Through livestock support, the project increases the production of milk and meat, which are an essential source of food for herders and their families, while improving their diets and nutrition. As livestock production is also a source of income, project activities are key in enhancing pastoralists’ livelihoods.

FAO is committed to working in close collaboration with local authorities and relevant stakeholders in the Niger to coordinate and prevent the impact of drought on herders and their families in a comprehensive manner.