Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries with an estimated 60 per cent of its population living below the poverty line. Food insecurity and hunger have resulted in high malnutrition rates.
A landlocked nation with little arable land for farming, subsistence agriculture and livestock account for 80 per cent of Niger livelihoods. However, this landlocked country has little land available for farming and the agriculture trade in Niger is hindered significantly by unpredictable climate shocks such as droughts and floods, poor soil quality, limited farming supplies and equipment, and poor pasture land for grazing animals. Even during good harvest years, families are extremely vulnerable to hunger due to limited production capacity compounded by high debts, low purchasing power and fluctuating food prices.
What we’re doing
Present in Niger since 1997, we’re currently working in the regions of Tahoua and Maradi. Our teams are treating children at life-threatening risk from acute malnutrition and helping mothers spot the early signs of malnutrition so they can prevent their children from falling ill in the first place.
We are also addressing hunger at its root causes. This includes:
- Providing pre- and postnatal support to mothers
- Working with families to improve the nutritional situation of their children
- Organising awareness sessions on good nutrition, hygiene and health practices.
With more than half of Niger’s population unable to access safe water and proper sanitation, we’re addressing the waterborne diseases that are linked to malnutrition and supporting community-based sanitation projects.
In addition we are helping families build their capacity to survive and address future food shocks by linking nutrition, health, and water and sanitation programmes. By continuing to support health systems that treat acute malnutrition while providing seasonal work programmes and training on water retention techniques, for example, communities can strengthen their resilience and build resources before or after shocks, such as a rise in prices or drought. This helps families to flatten the peaks of crises driven by factors outside their control.