Mercy Corps has been working in Niger since 2005. Niger is one of the world's poorest countries, with an annual per person income of less than $200. Over the past ten years, the country has experienced significant social and political instability that has left millions unable to adequately respond to chronic drought and malnutrition.
Additionally, climate change has led to increasingly erratic rain patterns, which severely affect farmers’ ability to grow enough food. A failed harvest at the end of 2011 left the entire Sahel region of West Africa in the grip of a dire, ongoing food crisis that continues today. Get the quick facts about the crisis in the Lake Chad region ▸
According to the UN, 340,000 people living in Niger are severely food insecure. Get the quick facts about hunger ▸
- Agriculture & Food: Providing emergency food vouchers and commodities to those who need it most, while simultaneously building long-term food resilience by providing improved seeds, goats, farming tools, technical trainings, and teaching pregnant and nursing mothers about nutrition
- Conflict & governance: Working with local governments to prevent and mitigate disputes and ensure proper management of natural resources, developing a new system for tracking the factors that influence vulnerability to violent extremism
- Disaster preparedness: Training communities to assess and identify natural disaster risks and encouraging land rehabilitation to minimize erosion and prevent flooding
- Economic opportunity: Strengthening farmers’ economic opportunities by linking them with better opportunities to sell their products, connecting pastoralists to veterinary services to keep livestock healthy and fostering employment for young people
- Women & gender: Involving women in community decision-making, educating community leaders about the importance of gender equality and creating safe spaces and schools for young girls to express themselves and continue their education
Niger: "There is nothing to eat"
During the two weeks I recently spent with in Niger with our emergency response teams, I kept hearing the same thing over and over: There is nothing to eat.
Niger: Families seek food assistance
Due to worsening food shortages, the nutritional screening centers that Mercy Corps established several years ago have experienced a massive increase in patients.
Niger: Mother and child in Niger
One of many mothers worried about the lack of food for their children after severe drought and a meager 2011 harvest have brought the lean season to Filingue and the rest of Niger months early.
Niger: Malnutrition screenings in Filingue
Mothers — and often grandmothers caring for babies left orphaned — come to the nutritional screening center in Filingue, where Mercy Corps volunteers assess each child for malnourishment using arm measurements and a formula that takes into account age and weight.
Niger: The growing food crisis in Niger
There’s a crisis brewing in Niger, West Africa.
Niger: Four "H"s united for one goal
The name "4H" is really a pure coincidence: these four colleagues from the same Mercy Corps project in Niger are called Hadiza, Halima, Hadiara and Hadiza.
Niger: Niger’s success: did anybody notice?
Protests turn violent in Egypt and Yemen. Transition seems likely after prolonged fighting in Libya and Ivory Coast. Recovery efforts trudge on in Japan’s tsunami zone. Power peacefully changes hands in Niger. Wait. What?
Niger: Missed opportunities
In Niger, although women represent more than half of the population, they are victims of all kinds of discrimination. Despite their best efforts they mostly remain poor.
Niger: The world seems to be upside down
Niger: My introduction
My name is Haoua Sidibé, a political scientist with a special concern for women and development. I worked with national non-govermental organizations (NGOs) from 1999 to 2005. Then I was recruited to an international NGO during the terrible food crisis in Niger.