Top UN official commends Niger for tackling complex humanitarian crisis

A top United Nations official commended the Government of Niger for tackling the country’s complex humanitarian crisis, including leading the provision of life-saving aid to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable, and highlighted the need to address its root causes.

“I was impressed to see how brave aid workers are working with the Government to deliver assistance to the most vulnerable people in Niger under difficult and dangerous circumstances,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, concluding a three-day visit.

During the visit, the first for Mr. Lowcock since assuming his post earlier this month, he travelled to the Diffa region – where aid has been provided to 400,000 people; one out of two individuals requires humanitarian assistance; and Boko Haram attacks remain a grave threat.

Mr. Lowcock pointed to the success of scaled-up humanitarian support in Niger in recent years, saying: “We have reached millions of people, unquestionably saving lives and averting the worst. But humanitarian needs remain high and sustained international help behind Niger’s efforts is critical.”

N’Gagam, a village in the Diffa region near the Nigerian border, had a pre-crisis population of 1,000 but now hosts 13,500 people from both Niger and Nigeria whose homes were destroyed or villages are considered too dangerous to return to, according to a news release issued by OCHA.