Belgium and FAO support 5 000 vulnerable Nigerien agropastoral households to protect their livelihoods and improve their food security

Belgium and FAO support 5 000 vulnerable Nigerien agropastoral households to protect their livelihoods and improve their food security

23/03/2020

The Niger faces multiple shocks, such as the worsening insecurity and the impact of natural disasters, which exacerbate the country’s already fragile context. These factors disrupt the livelihoods of vulnerable people and increase the food insecurity and malnutrition.

According to the results of the latest Cadre Harmonisé analysis (November 2019), 1.9 million people are estimated to be in severe acute food insecurity during the 2020 lean season, covering the period from June to August - the highest rate in the past several years. In addition, 226 000 Nigerian and Malian refugees, 254 000 internally displaced people, more than 270 000 people affected by floods and 2 000 people affected by other natural disasters are likely to be in need of emergency agricultural and food assistance. Compounding the situation are also the ban on transhumance movements in Benin and the closure of the border with Nigeria.

In order to support pastoralists during the pastoral lean season, as well as vulnerable communities in time for the preparation of the agricultural campaign, the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium has contributed USD 250 000 to FAO to provide agricultural assistance to 5 000 households in the regions of Tahoua and Tillabéri. The objective of the project is to protect their livelihoods through the distribution of 375 tonnes of animal feed, 30 000 doses of vaccines and 37.5 tonnes of millet and cowpea seeds.

The project will allow beneficiaries to access quality agricultural and zootechnical inputs, thereby strengthening their livelihoods and preventing the adoption of negative coping mechanisms. While thanking Belgium for this generous contribution, the FAO Representative in Niger, Attaher Maiga, said that “the funding will help vulnerable agropastoral and pastoral households by enabling them to protect their livelihoods during the planting season, which is expected to be quiet difficult following a poor agricultural and pastoral campaign linked to insecurity in the areas targeted by the project.”