Government ramps up support from the humanitarian community to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Niger
Since the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Niger on 19 March, the humanitarian community continues to support government efforts in response to the pandemic. The number of imported and local transmission cases increased rapidly and peaked on 9 April with 69 new cases. As of 5 July, the Ministry of Health has reported 1,093 cases of COVID-19 out of 8,114 tests carried out; including 968 recoveries, 57 people undergoing treatment and 68 deaths. The capital city, Niamey is the epicenter of the pandemic with over 70% of the confirmed cases while Zinder and Agadez are equally the most affected regions.
The humanitarian community participates actively in various technical and coordination structures both at national and regional levels; advocating particularly for the needs of the most vulnerable people amidst the COVID-19 response. With a mortality rate of 6.47, robust sensitization and communication with communities is ongoing countrywide to boost awareness on the disease and preventive measures to contain its spread. COVID-19 screening and testing is also underway particularly at entry points into the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted Niger’s socio-economic situation and exacerbated pre-existing vulnerabilities. As a result, the Government has reviewed down its gross domestic product (GDP) growth projections from 6.9% to 1%. The budget deficit is expected to reach 5% compared to the 2.7% forecast and an increased inflation rate of 4.4% from 2.6%.