Niger ranks last on the United Nations Development Program’s 2013 Human Development Index. Chronic food insecurity and infectious disease have resulted in some of the highest rates of malnutrition and mortality in the world. Over forty percent of children under five are chronically malnourished and the rates of acute malnutrition are well beyond the threshold for public health emergencies. Niger has the highest fertility rate in the world. Left unchecked, Niger’s rapid population growth will further undermine health service delivery and further weaken the resilience of the most vulnerable populations.
USAID re-instituted development assistance to Niger in 2006 following a ten-year hiatus after the 1996 coup. USAID currently supports the Government of Niger (GoN) and its partners to strengthen democracy & governance, improve food security, and educate young Nigeriens. USAID is also bridging the divide between its humanitarian and development assistance through joint planning and implementation. In addition to these efforts, USAID improves the health and nutrition status of the most vulnerable Nigeriens through the following programs:
ENHANCING RESILIENCE AND NUTRITION
USAID is launching a multi-sector resilience program in the Sahel to reduce the impact of recurrent climatic shocks and to facilitate inclusive growth among chronically vulnerable populations. USAID will align with existing strategies such as the GoN’s 3N Initiative (Les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens) and will leverage work done by other development partners in Niger. A key component of this program will include efforts to improve the health and nutrition status of women and children under five in targeted zones of Tillaberi, Maradi and Zinder. Linked with its activities to increase the availability of and access to nutritious foods, USAID will work to transform behaviors related to nutrition, water and sanitation, and health-care seeking practices.
In 2012, USAID launched three five-year food security programs with a total value of $100M. These programs will reduce food insecurity and malnutrition for over 800,000 individuals through activities like the distribution of nutritious food rations, increased food production, and the promotion of improved behaviors related to nutrition, health, water and sanitation.
USAID improves the monitoring, management and treatment of acute malnutrition amongst the most vulnerable Nigeriens by building capacity within the health system to tackle malnutrition. This is done through support for the national Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) movement that is active in Niger. USAID also helps prevent acute malnutrition by supporting food security and economic recovery during drought and other crises with cash vouchers, temporary employment coupled with conservation agriculture, and livelihood strengthening activities. In addition, USAID contributed $23M to the UN World Food Program (WFP) in FY13 to provide targeted food assistance to 2.3M food-insecure Nigeriens during the lean season and to Malian refugees.
FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
In July 2013, USAID launched its new flagship family planning project to increase access to and use of quality family planning services in select urban and peri-urban areas of Niger and two other West African countries. USAID also supports the Nigerien Ministry of Public Health to ensure the security of key family planning commodities. As part of the Ouagadougou Partnership of donors and private-sector partners to advance family planning in francophone West Africa, USAID assisted the GoN to develop its national family planning action plan for 2012-2020. Lastly, USAID trains staff from local hospitals to provide fistula-repair surgeries and to offer fistula prevention services.
MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH
USAID works to eradicate polio in Niger and 18 other West and Central African countries by supporting synchronized supplementary polio immunization activities.
USAID supports the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to strengthen its monitoring and evaluation plan and its internal capacity to collect, analyze and disseminate health information. Also, USAID helped the GoN pass legislation and monitor compliance for the mandatory fortification of cooking oil and wheat flour.
Last updated: February 25, 2014