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Humanitarian assistance to Niger continued despite coup – UN




Ms Nicole Kouassi, UN Acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator has said that humanitarian operations, development support, and peace programmes have continued even in the wake of the military coup in Niger.

Kouassi said this while briefing journalists on Friday in New York on the humanitarian situation in the country.

She was speaking from the capital, Niamey, just hours after the general whose troops seized the democratically elected president, declared that he was assuming control of the country.

On behalf of UN agencies on the ground, she echoed the Secretary-General’s condemnation of Wednesday’s coup against President Mohamed Bazoum, who reportedly remains in detention at his home.

Kouassi expressed concern over the current “difficult situation” in Niger, where 4.3 million people, mainly women and children, were already dependent on aid prior to the power grab.


Some 3.3 million are facing food insecurity, while a $534 million appeal is just over 30 per cent funded, she said, calling for greater support.

The UN and international aid groups have not stopped delivering amid the crisis.

However, UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights have been temporarily suspended because the air space is closed, along with the territorial borders.

“All the humanitarian partners and development partners remain engaged and committed to supporting the vulnerable population of Niger who are affected by a combination of climate issues, economic and security shocks in the context of very high humanitarian and development needs,” she said.

Kouassi was asked if UN agencies were in contact with the military, but she said no, stressing that they do not have political mandates.


She was also asked if there were any warning signs ahead of the coup, or if the UN officials had seen personnel from the Russian private military company Wagner Group in Niger.

Kouassi answered no to both questions.

Meanwhile, Jean-Noel Gentile, Country Director for the World Food Programme (WFP) affirmed that “humanitarian response continues on the ground and has never stopped”.

WFP is providing both cash assistance and food assistance in Niger and will continuously assess the situation to ensure its staff and partners can safely access people in need.

“Only if security is an issue, we will temporarily possibly suspend certain operations in certain areas. But this is not currently the case,” he said.


The crisis could potentially affect the humanitarian response in the wider region, which continues to face impacts from conflict, drought, insecurity and other challenges.

Gentile said WFP recently established a logistics hub in Niamey as a transit point for hard-to-reach areas in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Mali, which are only accessible through Niger.

The agency has also been facilitating delivery of humanitarian aid to Chad, which is now hosting hundreds of thousands fleeing the conflict in Sudan, “so the closure of the borders will temporarily suspend this vital cross-border logistics support.”

As a result, WFP is examining the possibility of alternative routes.

Also, the UN refugee agency, (UNHCR), has not witnessed “any particular movements” related to the coup, Emmanuel Gignac, Deputy Representative in Niger, said.


UNHCR monitors regular movements of internally displaced people in Niger, or refugee flows from Burkina Faso, Mali and northwest Nigeria.

“No early signs were noticed,” she said. “We woke up in the morning and we were faced with the situation. And as of now, no sign of Wagner from the UN perspective.”


Coup attempt in Burkina Faso



The junta in Burkina Faso, which toppled a military regime to gain power, has announced that there was a coup attempt.

In a statement, the junta said an attempt by some army officers to seize power and plunge the country into chaos was thwarted.

“The dark intention of attacking the institutions of the Republic and plunging our country in chaos… investigations will help unmask the instigators of this plot.”

“Officers and other alleged actors involved in this attempt at destabilisation have been arrested and others are actively sought,” read the statement from Rimtalba Jean Emmanuel Ouedraogo, spokesman for the regime.

The military government said it would seek to shed all possible light on this plot, adding that it regretted “that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature”.


It said while four people had been detained, two were on the run.

The statement added that the regime launched investigation based on “credible allegations about a plot against state security implicating officers.”

“We regret that officers whose oath is to defend their homeland have strayed into an undertaking of this nature, which aims to hinder the Burkinabe people’s march for sovereignty and total liberation from the terrorist hordes trying to enslave them.”

The junta came to power after two military coups last year, triggered in part by a worsening insurgency by armed groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State that has destabilised Burkina Faso and its neighbours.

Captain Ibrahim Traoré, the junta leader, seized power on September 30, 2022, the country’s second coup in eight months.


From 2020 till date, there have been seven coups across Africa.

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Manufacturers sack 3,567 workers, unsold goods hit ₦‎272billion – MAN



No fewer than 3,567 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2023 according to figures obtained by The PUNCH from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.

MAN disclosed this in its half yearly review of the economy, which was released on Tuesday.

According to the report, employment generation in the manufacturing sector declined to 6,428 in the first half of 2023.

This was 32.8 per cent reduction in employment generation capacity when compared with 9,559 jobs generated in the first half of 2022.

The report read partly, “In the same vein, a total of 3,567 jobs were lost in the first half of 2023, indicating 1,855 more jobs lost when compared with the 1,709 jobs lost in the corresponding half of 2022, and 850 more jobs lost when compared with 2708 jobs lost in the last half of 2022.”


MAN said the decline in the number of jobs created in the sector during the period further highlighted the unfriendly business environment, resulting from the hasty policies and residual effect of the currency redesign policy that led to the naira crunch.

The report also stated that the inventory of unsold finished products in the manufacturing sector increased to N271.9bn during the first half of 2023, compared to N187bn in the corresponding period of 2022.

This indicated a substantial rise of N84.88bn or 45.4 per cent over the timeframe. It also showed N11.64bn or 4.1 per cent decline when compared with the inventory value of N283.6bn recorded in the second half of 2022.

“This increase in inventory can be attributed to a weakened purchasing power of the consumers, brought about by diminishing real household income resulting from the ongoing escalation of inflationary pressures, compounded by the scarcity of naira in the first quarter of the year and the aftermath of the subsidy removal,” the report said.

It noted that subsidy removal and exchange rate unification policy towards the end of the first half left the economy on the brink of uncertainty, caused a ripple effect that further eroded investors’ confidence.


MAN stated that, “As a result, businesses and foreign investors are increasingly wary of committing capital, thereby hindering economic growth and prospects for recovery.

“The combined effect of these is the resultant higher inflationary pressure, which fuels the cost of production, reducing consumers’ purchasing power and having a greater impact on the manufacturers.”

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