Our work in Niger
Our work in Niger
Concern Worldwide has been working in Niger since 2003 when it established a primary school education programme in Tahoua region.
Our work in Niger focuses on health, nutrition and food security through an integrated resilience-building programme that combines livelihoods, health, nutrition, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and education programmes in one specific geographical area that covers 29 villages.
Our programme recognises that a multifaceted approach is required to address the problem of extreme poverty in Niger. It requires investment not only in agricultural and livestock production, livelihood diversification and nutrition, but also in environmental projects, health, education, water and sanitation, gender inequality and reproductive health.
Lake Chad Basin crisis
A full-scale humanitarian crisis has been fuelled by violence across the Lake Chad Basin. Over 9.2 million in the broader region (encompassing areas of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger) are now in need of humanitarian assistance, with over 2.6 million people having been forced to flee their homes. 6.3 million people are now food insecure and around 568,000 children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition across the region.
Concern has been working in Diffa in Niger since June. A livelihoods assessment carried out in the area has highlighted that 67.8% of households have relatively poor food consumption levels and little dietary diversity. 70% of those interviewed had decreased income following the crisis, while another 30% reported loss of all means of agricultural production.
We are currently developing programmes designed specifically address the identified gaps. Key focuses will be on water, sanitation and hygiene activities, emergency education provision, and cash-for-work schemes.
Niger suffers from one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, particularly among girls. According to UNESCO, the average Nigerien has only had 1.4 years of education in their lifetime.
Concern’s education programme, has aligned itself with the Niger government’s development plan and has gradually shifted focus from improving access to primary education to improving education quality. Working with the Ministry of Education across 33 schools, we are training teachers on the curriculum and child rights, while also helping school committees to develop their management skills and training school directors in school management.
Our education programme is grant-aided by the Turing Foundation.
Responding to food insecurity
In response to the 2005 food crisis, Concern launched an emergency nutrition programme in the Tahoua region using the community management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) approach. In 2009, we expanded our programmes to include health activities. Following the 2010 food crisis, a food security and emergency nutrition programme was launched, which was expanded in 2011 to cover cash transfers, agricultural production, nutrition and health.
Concern and University College London are currently collaborating on a study in Niger to complement the REFANI programme. The study in Tahoua aims to assess the effect of earlier initiation and longer duration cash transfer programmes on the nutritional status of children. The study seeks to determine whether modifications to the cash transfer approach improves effectiveness and cost-effectiveness in reducing acute malnutrition prevalence in children aged between six and 59 months. Read more here
Building resilience and preventing malnutrition
Our health and nutrition programme in Niger combines two projects – one that focuses on resilience, and the other on preventing chronic malnutrition. In partnership with the Ministry of Health, these programmes emphasise strengthening the health system by providing technical support (training, coaching and supervision) and logistics support (drugs, therapeutic food and equipment) for the delivery of quality maternal and child-health services in government health facilities. They also focus on improving preventive and care-seeking behaviours as well as child-feeding practices at a community and household level. The programme focuses on mobilising the community through a network of volunteers who carry out public awareness and education activities.
Working with farmers
Concern has taken a multi-pronged approach to improving food security of the most vulnerable households in Niger. As well as providing inputs such as seeds to enable them to cultivate, we also work to improve and protect seed quality through the distribution of seed and grain storage bags.