ICRC Says Will Continue Humanitarian Activities In Niger Despite Coup

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 05th August, 2023) The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is continuing its humanitarian operation in Niger despite the military coup and is committed to further providing the necessary assistance to the people most affected by the recent events, Mutsa Mugangavari, the deputy head of the ICRC regional delegation in Southern Africa, told Sputnik.

"In line with its neutral, impartial fundamental principles, the ICRC does not comment on political developments. ICRC's operations in Niger are ongoing and we are committed to continue providing lifesaving and much needed humanitarian assistance to people affected by the conflict," Mugangavari said.

It is estimated that about 17% of the Nigerien population, or 4.3 million people, will need humanitarian aid by the end of 2023, she noted, adding that the most critical situation would be observed in the Diffa, Tahoua and Tillaberi bordering regions, which had been under a state of emergency for many years due to regular armed clashes between various militant groups and the country's security personnel.

"It is also the case in areas affected by climate change. A degradation of the security and economic environment across the country could potentially worsen the daily life of millions of already fragile families," Mugangavari said.

On July 26, Niger's presidential guard ousted and detained President Mohamed Bazoum. The guard's commander, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, proclaimed himself interim leader and the president of caretaker National Council for the Safeguard of the Homeland.

Following the coup, the European Union and several individual countries have suspended financial support and cooperation with Niger, one of the lowest-ranking nations on the UN Human Development Index. Their decision is expected to seriously hit the Nigerien population that has been facing an acute humanitarian crisis for many years due to food insecurity, displacement and countless epidemics, as well as numerous military conflicts within the country and in neighboring Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria.