Niger consistently ranks at or near the bottom of the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Index. Chronic food insecurity and infectious disease have resulted in some of the highest rates of malnutrition and mortality in the world.
The vast majority of Nigeriens rely on subsistence agriculture, and the region’s frequent droughts, low and variable rainfall, and increasingly degraded land lead to poor harvests and regular food and water shortages.
Niger’s population is 70% illiterate and only 54% of female primary school students reach sixth grade. To address this gap in education, the Government of Niger is implementing an ambitious national education program to increase educational access, quality and retention.
The vast majority of Nigeriens depend on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihoods; frequent droughts in the region often reduce crop and livestock yields, leading to food shortages in the country. Their livelihoods are further threatened by low and variable rainfall, land degradation, desertification and the highest birth rate in the world.
Following Niger’s return to democratic rule in 2011, the Government of Niger committed to fighting corruption, increasing transparency and ensuring that proper management of the country’s natural resources benefits all Nigeriens.
Last updated: March 24, 2017