Cash support provides welcome relief after disastrous harvest

CERF in underfunded emergencies: Niger

In January 2022 CERF allocated $10 million from its Underfunded Emergencies (UFE) window.

Bambeye commune, Tahoua Region, Niger. 2021 was a disastrous year for farmers in Niger, many of whom lost their crops to a severe drought that left them struggling to feed their families.

“The 2021 crop year was catastrophic in our region, since production was almost nil,” said Rahamatou Nayoussa, a 50-year-old widow whose family of eight eke out a living growing millet and sorghum. This year’s harvest was about six times lower than average, she said.

She now collects gravel, which she sells to entrepreneurs ­– backbreaking work mainly carried out by women in Niger ­– while her children seek work in the fields of wealthier farmers.The income is barely enough for the family to survive, but Nayoussa says life has improved significantly since she received a first cash payment of 44,000CFA francs from WFP.

“This assistance was like heaven-sent. The support came just at the right time, as it will enable me to buy food and to work in my fields. Hoping the harvest will be good at the end of this crop season,” said Nayoussa.

Another recipient, Ramatou Ibrahim, 45, said she too had a very poor harvest in 2021, and borrowed money to set up a pancake stand to earn some money to feed her four children. “This assistance will allow me to repay the loan and get through the lean period without great difficulty,” she said.

Responding to the food crisis in Niger, CERF allocated $10 million from its Underfunded Emergencies window to enable United Nations agencies and partners to provide life-saving assistance to 265,700 people. More than half the funding went to the World Food Program.

More information on the CERF allocation (UFE 2022)

CERF data hub (UFE 2022)