UN pledges to ‘stay engaged and dedicated’ amid Niger coup

Nicole Kouassi, UN Performing Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, was talking from the capital, Niamey, simply hours after the final whose troops seized the democratically elected president, declared that he was assuming management of the nation.

On behalf of UN companies on the bottom, she echoed the Secretary-Basic’s condemnation of Wednesday’s coup in opposition to President Mohamed Bazoum, who reportedly stays in detention at his house.

A ‘troublesome scenario’

Ms. Kouassi expressed concern over the present “troublesome scenario” in Niger, the place 4.3 million individuals, primarily girls and kids, have been already depending on support previous to the ability seize.  

Over three million are dealing with meals insecurity, whereas a $534 million attraction is simply over 30 per cent funded, she mentioned, calling for larger assist.

The UN and worldwide support teams haven’t stopped delivering amid the disaster.  Nevertheless, UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights have been briefly suspended as a result of the air house is closed, together with the territorial borders.

“All of the humanitarian companions and growth companions stay engaged and dedicated to supporting the susceptible inhabitants of Niger who’re affected by a mixture of local weather points, financial and safety shocks within the context of very excessive humanitarian and growth wants,” she mentioned.

Response by no means stopped

Jean-Noel Gentile, Nation Director for the World Meals Programme (WFP) affirmed that “humanitarian response continues on the bottom and has by no means stopped”.  

WFP is offering each money help and meals help in Niger and can constantly assess the scenario to make sure its employees and companions can safely entry individuals in want.

“Provided that safety is a matter, we’ll briefly presumably droop sure operations in sure areas. However this isn’t at the moment the case,” he mentioned.

Border closure impacts

The disaster may probably have an effect on the humanitarian response within the wider area, which continues to face impacts from battle, drought, insecurity and different challenges.

Mr. Gentile mentioned WFP just lately established a logistics hub in Niamey as a transit level for hard-to-reach areas in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali, that are solely accessible via Niger.

The company has additionally been facilitating supply of humanitarian support to Chad, which is now internet hosting tons of of 1000’s fleeing the battle in Sudan, “so the closure of the borders will briefly droop this very important cross-border logistics assist.”

Mr. Gentile mentioned WFP is engaged on various routes in each instances.

In the meantime, the UN refugee company, UNHCR, has not witnessed “any explicit actions” associated to the coup, mentioned Emmanuel Gignac, Deputy Consultant in Niger.

UNHCR screens common actions of internally displaced individuals in Niger, or refugee flows from Burkina Faso, Mali and northwest Nigeria.

No warning indicators

Ms. Kouassi was requested if UN companies have been involved with the army, however she mentioned no, stressing that they don’t have political mandates.

Journalists requested if there have been any warning indicators forward of the coup, or if the UN officers had seen personnel from the Russian non-public army firm Wagner Group in Niger. Ms. Kouassi answered no to each questions.

“No early indicators have been observed,” she mentioned. “We awakened within the morning and we have been confronted with the scenario. And as of now, no signal of Wagner from the UN perspective.”   

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