About the Situation
By the Numbers
More than 16,468,886 people live in Niger
63% of the people in Niger live below the poverty line
70% of the population is illiterate
(Source: U.S. government)
Niger is ranked 186 out of 187 countries in the UNDP’s Human Development Index, a measure of well-being and living conditions for countries around the world. Niger’s low ranking is indicative of the rampant poverty and lack of resources that stifle progress for more than 16 million individuals there.
Rapid population growth also adds to the strain that Niger suffers—the World Food Programme reports that Niger has one of the highest rates of population increase in the world. And, as the U.S. government notes, the high concentration of people puts many of the inhabitants at a very high risk for contracting diseases, such as AIDS, hepatitis A, malaria and typhoid fever.
Malnutrition and inaccessibility to regular medical attention only exacerbate the poor health conditions of millions in Niger, and stifle their ability to work and generate income, driving them deeper into the pit of poverty.
How Islamic Relief is Helping
Islamic ReliefTM began working in Niger in 2005 with an emergency response to address a food and nutritional crisis there. Islamic Relief Niger has been established there to continue work with local organizations and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to implement and oversee development projects in the region.
Here’s a breakdown of some programs Islamic Relief has supported in Niger:
NIGER EMERGENCY HEALTHCARE PROJECT
More than 57,450 individuals stand to benefit from an emergency healthcare project, implemented to provide vital aid to those in dire conditions, as well as training to medical staff who will be assisting and treating patients. Major focus will be put on helping improve the health and nutrition status of children under 6 as well as their mothers, and other women approaching motherhood. The goal is to help reduce the severity of malnutrition that plagues many throughout the Ouallam and Tillaberi districts of Niger. In a separate project, Islamic Relief USA has partnered with Islamic Relief Niger and Project CURE to provide much-needed medical equipment to health centers and hospitals in Niamey, including District Hospital de Filingue. This effort stands to benefit 85,800 patients per year.
RESILIENCE IN SEMI-ARID AGRICULTURE
More than 10,000 individuals in Anzourou stand to benefit from the construction of a mini-dam and 5 boreholes that will provide fresh, clean water for agricultural purposes as well as for consumption by the community members and their livestock. The project will also include the promotion of irrigated farming schemes; training sessions and support for farmers; the development of 5 seedling nurseries for the rehabilitation, conservation and improved management of degraded lands; and two storage facilities to prevent food spoilage.
RAMADAN FOOD DISTRIBUTION
Islamic Relief was on the ground in Mali and Niger to provide vital aid to millions affected by severe drought conditions and food shortages across the Sahel region. Islamic Relief provided services such as water and food distribution and health care.
Read “Water Saves Lives, Builds Livelihoods”, written by Islamic Relief USA’s Reem El-Khatib, to get a first-hand glimpse into the positive effects a solar-power water distribution and borehole system, funded by Islamic Relief UK donors, has had on living conditions in Niger.