People Helped in 2017: 593,975
A landlocked nation with little arable land for farming, Niger ranks among the world’s poorest countries, with subsistence agriculture and livestock accounting for 80 percent of Niger’s livelihoods. But agriculture in Niger is besieged by significant challenges, such as routine climate shocks (droughts and floods), poor soil quality, underdeveloped markets in seeds, fertilizers and other productive inputs, not to mention poor pasture lands for grazing animals.
With about 60 percent of Nigeriens living below the poverty line, household food consumption is a serious seasonal concern, as rampant food insecurity and hunger are chronic for significant swaths of Niger’s population. As a result, malnutrition rates are steep in Niger, affecting some 40 percent of all Nigerien children, and rates of deadly acute malnutrition at an alarming 10 percent.
Although the 2017 harvest was a relatively good one, Niger continues to suffer from extremely high rates of malnutrition throughout the territory and remains the poorest country in the region. The conflict with Boko Haram in the Diffa region continues to deteriorate, with uncertainty as to how it will develop. Additionally, the conflict in northern Mali is having an effect on the country’s south-western regions (north of Tahoua and Tillabery), which is likely to result in deteriorating security and living conditions in the area.
Action Against Hunger has worked with vulnerable populations in Niger since 1997, improving livelihoods and income opportunities, fostering broader access to markets, providing seasonal cash-for-work programs, distributing productive assets like seeds and tools, and installing and rehabilitating water points and sanitation facilities.
Our teams expanded our response to the crisis caused by the conflict with Boko Haram in the Diffa region, ensuring that basic health, nutrition, and food security needs are covered for a large part of the affected population. The difficulties in accessing this region, given increasing incursions by Boko Haram since the middle of the year and the restrictions imposed by the authorities, make it difficult to deliver humanitarian aid to isolated populations.