History of Country
Niger is a landlocked, sub-Saharan nation in West Africa. According to the UN Human Development Index it is the poorest country in the world, with the worst health and development problems.
Most of Niger’s 14 million people earn a living growing basic crops or raising livestock, but farmers have faced shrinking harvests. The country has cycles of droughts, and more than 80 percent of the land is desert. Niger’s agricultural land is threatened by expanding deserts.
Growing up in Niger is not easy. Every year around a quarter of children die before their fifth birthday. Gaining an education is also a problem. Niger has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world.
The health system is basic and most people cannot afford health care. Many children suffer from malnutrition, which stunts their growth and slows down their immune system, leaving them more vulnerable to disease.
More than half of Nigerians do not have access to clean water.
The food crisis in 2005 had a devastating effect on the country, affecting 3.6 million people, 800,000 of which were children. A humanitarian emergency was declared in both Niger and neighbouring Mali.
At the end of 2005 the situation reached the recovery phase, but fears remain that the crisis could return. IR is monitoring the situation to ensure we can act quickly should food gaps re-appear.
Islamic Relief's History
More than 60% of Nigeriens live on less than $1 a day
IR began working in Niger on an emergency programme to address the food crisis in June 2005.
Our programmes cover Health and Nutrition and Water and Sanitation. Health and nutrition intervention includes Therapeutic Feeding Centres in four district hospitals for severely malnourished children with medical complications.
There are also 35 community integrated health centres with Supplementary Feeding Centres to provide rehabilitation for moderately malnourished children. IR provides free health care for malnourished children their mothers and pregnant and nursing women.
Water and sanitation activities include the drilling/digging of wells, installation of hand pumps, construction of public latrines and raising community awareness to prevent mass outbreaks of disease.