MALNUTRITION IN NIGER
Malnutrition is a major threat to children's health and development in Niger. According to 2018 data, 15.0 per cent of children are acutely malnourished in Niger (unchanged since 2006).
As Niger's population continues to grow, the burden of malnutrition will persist unless significant efforts are put into preventing malnutrition that addresses all the multisectoral causes. The number of stunted children is expected to increase by 44 per cent by 2025 owing to population growth.
The country has the world's eleventh highest rate of mortality among children under the age of 5, a population that barely has access to proper sanitation, low school attendance and harmful practices like early marriage.
Niger is a youthful and predominantly rural country. Its population of 21.5 million is 50 per cent female, 80 per cent rural, and 58.2 per cent below the age of 18. With close to half of Nigeriens living in poverty, the prospects of many children are dim, and they risk becoming the next impoverished generation. About 48 per cent of children live under the monetary poverty line, and 75 per cent of young children under the age of 5 are deprived of three or more essential social services.
Assessments have shown that most students (93 per cent) in primary grades 2 and 5 need help to read or do mathematics properly.
Adult literacy is very low – 14 per cent for women and 42 per cent for men.
Girls are less likely to go to school than boys, and children from the poorest homes are 1.6 times more likely to never attend school than children from the wealthiest households.
School Meals Programme in Niger
We are supporting a school meals programme for underprivileged children on the outskirts of Niamey, Niger.
There are over 250 children at this school, most of whom come from impoverished families. These children often come to school without any breakfast and no guarantee of food for the day.
We are also building a modern kitchen, dining area, and washroom facilities, besides providing daily nutritious meals at the school premises.
Our food programme will provide cooked meals on the premises. The school dinner will consist of rice, lentils, vegetables and meat (chicken and goat meat will be served twice a week).
£1.20 Will Provide a
Nutritious Meal to a
Child in Niger
The programme will also have a long-term impact on the education of these children. According to a research paper by the United Nations, "on empty stomachs, children become easily distracted and have problems concentrating on schoolwork.
They become better students when their bodies are well-nourished and healthy. The incentive of getting a meal also reduces absenteeism. Most significantly, performance improves, and drop-out rates decrease."
Muntada Aid has been in Niger, providing healthcare, water and sanitation, livelihoods and food programmes for over a decade. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. Rising armed conflict, deteriorating security, widespread poverty and the impact of climate change pose a real threat to countries in the Central Sahel.
Rising armed conflict, deteriorating security, widespread poverty and the impact of climate change pose a real threat to Niger.
More than 10 million persons (41.8% of the population) were living in extreme poverty in 2021.
Niger is grappling with an influx of refugees fleeing conflicts in Nigeria and Mali.
As of August 31, 2022, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had identified 294,467 refugees and almost 350,000 displaced persons in the country.