Few doubt that there is currently a humanitarian crisis in Niger. But the scale and severity of the crisis, the point at which it turned ‘critical’ and the question of whether there is a current or imminent famine are disputed. What seems clear is that the humanitarian response has been too slow. The Humanitarian Policy Group at the ODI has prepared a Briefing Note which highlights some of the questions that will need to be answered in explaining this slowness. They argue that it is not just a case of donors failing to provide resources quickly enough. Questions also need to be asked about the quality of early-warning and assessment analysis; the capacity of humanitarian actors to respond; the appropriateness of the proposed responses; and the preparedness of development actors for what should have been a predictable crisis.
3 August 2005