Back in Garmazye village, I meet two women who are attending a monthly distribution of cash and fortified flour.
Gaichatou Mohamed has six children. Her family has been hit hard by the five years of poor harvests that the village has experienced.
“Our harvest was not good. We got nothing from it this year. After harvest, what we collect can last for months, but this year, we have nothing”, she explains.
Her husband has been forced to leave the country in search of work. This is a common occurrence in Niger, when all other options have run out. He sends money back when he can, but the food it buys is not enough to feed the whole family. Gaichatou’s youngest child, Hadizatou, has become moderately malnourished. But she is in good spirits when we talk because she has just received a cash transfer which will allow her to buy a sack of rice, a sack of millet as well as some beans and some oil for cooking. It will be enough to feed her family for the next three weeks.
She has also received a bag of flour for Hadizatou which has been enriched with minerals like iron and zinc which will help to improve her nutrition.
This is the third distribution of the flour that the family has received and Gaichatou believes it is doing the world of good for her little girl.
“She likes it. When she is eating it she is smiling and calling my name. I think it is making her healthier.”
Only families with children under the age of five receive the fortified flour as this is the age group that is most vulnerable to malnutrition.