The vast majority of Nigeriens rely on subsistence agriculture and the region’s frequent droughts lead to poor harvests and regular food shortages. Chronic food insecurity and infectious disease have resulted in some of the highest rates of malnutrition and mortality in the world. As of June 2013 U.N. estimates place Niger’s food-insecure population at nearly 3 million people. Over forty percent of children under five are chronically malnourished and the rates of acute malnutrition are well beyond the WHO Serious threshold of 10%.
USAID is reducing food insecurity and enhancing agriculture in Niger through a combination of emergency humanitarian assistance and development assistance. Humanitarian assistance is being provided through the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the office of Food for Peace (FFP). Emergency assistance includes agricultural and livelihood interventions such as cash transfers, temporary employment opportunities, improved access to seeds, training in livestock health maintenance and enhanced agricultural practices. In addition, FFP partners with the World Food Program (WFP) to provide food commodities and cash transfers to food-insecure Nigeriens.
Development assistance to agriculture and food security in Niger is provided through three multi-year FFP projects that seek to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition among rural households in the Maradi and Zinder regions of Niger through activities focused on health, nutrition, water and sanitation, that incorporate a strong gender component. Development assistance is also provided through the Niger Food Security Project, also known as “Arziki”, that seeks to significantly increase agriculture and livestock production through expanded access to innovative technologies and improved business practices.
Last updated: February 25, 2014