The region of Diffa faced a security crisis due to recurrent attacks by Boko Haram. This security crisis caused massive population movements and significantly deteriorated the already precarious humanitarian situation in an area previously weakened by recurrent food crises, malnutrition, floods, epidemics, and limited access to essential social services. The local population and refugees from Nigeria and Chad, specifically women and children were most impacted by resulting difficulties including lack of food and water, lack of opportunities, and high risk of violence. By mid-September 2016 the number of displaced, returned, and refugees were estimated at more than 302,000.
A GNC TST assessment Adviser was requested to conduct a Rapid SMART Assessment in the displaced sites on the border with Nigeria to evaluate the nutrition status of children <59 months. Conduct an Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Assessment in the displaced sites to understand priority program needs and develop a response strategy.
Rapid SMART assessment results revealed the prevalence of acute and chronic malnutrition classified as ‘serious’ based on WHO evaluation thresholds.
IYCF Assessment results identified priority IYCF needs in the displaced sites and presented results at both district and national levels.
Following the assessment, a workshop was held for district health workers and implementing partners to conduct a SWOT analysis and develop an action plan to address priority needs identified during the assessment and strengthen existing nutrition interventions.
Action Against Hunger Spain
Niger's political, security and humanitarian context remained marked by a multitude of shocks linked to climate change, population growth and armed conflict. According to the 2021 OCHA report, 3.8 million people in Niger were in need of humanitarian assistance, 313,000 people were internally displaced and 234,000 people were refugees. Access to essential services such as clean water and hand washing facilities in Niger remained low, particularly in rural areas. Regarding access to health care in the country, health coverage is only 48.3%, and 26% use handwashing facilities with soap and water (RGPH 2021). According to the WHO, Niger has one of the highest mortality rates due to a lack of access to water, hygiene and sanitation, with 70.8 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. This situation, coupled with the porosity of borders, caused a cholera epidemic in the first quarter of 2021. The prevalence of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) was 2.7% According to the HNO of 2022, it was estimated that nearly 2.5 million people were in need of nutrition assistance in Niger, including 1,988,828 children aged 6 to 59 months 63,852 breastfeeding or pregnant women. Action Against Hunger supports the most vulnerable affected people in Diffa, Tahoua, and Maradi in Niger through interventions in SAME, WASH, health, nutrition and advocacy. To improve the prevention of malnutrition with a more holistic and integrated approach, Action Against Hunger (ACF) and its partners designed several steps for improving social behavior change strategy (SCC).
Several partners had experience in implementing projects in the field of WASH and Health/Nutrition. However, required expertise in developing CCS strategies with new approaches/tools with the integration of a gender transformation lens. As such, Action Against Hunger requested the support of GNC Technical Alliance for technical support.
Reviewed the RANAS questionnaire, developed power point and presented it to the CCS strategy workshop.
Reviewed the studies carried out (barrier analyses, NCA Link, gender analyses, etc.) and the preliminary work carried out by the mission toward the development of a CCS strategy for the prevention of malnutrition
Developed a detailed CCS strategy for the prevention of malnutrition in Niger, with an action plan indicating the different activities/approaches to be implemented and the tools to be developed.
Conducted a CCS training on the Husbands' School approach and the use of ANJE image boxes for 4 days targeting 26 participants trained (5 women and 21 men).
Developed a trainer's manual on the Husbands' School approach, including detailed modules for the training of facilitators (called "Coaches" in the husbands' school approach).