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: Responding to Niger’s latest hunger crisis
Five years ago, Mercy Corps responded to a catastrophic food crisis in Niger that put more than 3.5 million people at risk of malnutrition and starvation. Today, Niger is facing potentially worse food shortages — and Mercy Corps is again readying a lifesaving response.
Niger: Devastating Floods Sweep Niger
Mercy Corps is sending an emergency response team to meet the critical needs of families in areas of Niger affected by recent torrential rain and catastrophic flooding.
Niger: Shipping medicines to Niger
What can one shipment of donated medicines do? How about treat 20,000 mothers and children in Niger suffering from common maternal and childhood illnesses.
Niger: Climate change and Niger
Global warming is not only causing already-meager water supplies in the West African nation of Niger to dry up — it's also driving young men from drought-stricken rural areas in search of work to provide for their families.
Niger: Multiplying their bounty
Four years ago, a widespread food crisis in the West African nation of Niger threatened the lives of nearly 3.5 million people in more than 3,800 villages.
Niger: Fighting malnutrition
Niger: Q&A with Christy Collins
Christy Collins, who currently serves as Mercy Corps Niger's country director, has a long history with the country and people of Niger. She first came to Niger in 1975 as a Peace Corps volunteer, having just graduated from college with a degree in French.
Niger: Fati: Taking Action for Her Son
Niamey, Niger - Fati Issia seems alone in the crowd. In the midst of the boisterous waiting room at Niamey's Dar es Salaam neighborhood health clinic, she sits quietly while other mothers engage in conversation. She holds her seven-month-old son Moctar on her lap.
Niger: Boubacar: A Nurse's Helping Hands
Sanam, Niger - You can see the difficulty of life here in Boubacar Harouna's eyes. They are yellowed from chronic malaria and glassy from exhaustion. Still, Harouna somehow summons the energy to treat dozens of patients each day as the town's only nurse.
Niger: Three Wails
Shortly after midnight, a soft wailing cry broke through the sweltering Sahelian night.