What We Do in Niger
Freedom from Hunger trained our Norwegian partner, the Strømme Foundation, to provide technical assistance and training to their NGO partners in Niger to organize, train and monitor Saving for Change groups. Freedom from Hunger also trained Strømme Foundation and partners to implement malaria education and business education for the groups. Saving for Change was originally developed by Oxfam America and Freedom from Hunger in Mali with support from Strømme Foundation.
- Area: 1.267 square km (slightly less than twice the size of Texas)
- Natural Hazards: Niger is subject to recurring droughts
- Agricultural Products: cowpeas, cotton, peanuts, millet, sorghum, cassava (tapioca), rice; cattle, sheep, goats, camels, donkeys, horses, poultry
- Population: 16,468,886
- Ethnic Groups: Haoussa 55.4%, Djerma Sonrai 21%, Tuareg 9.3%, Peuhl 8.5%, Kanouri Manga 4.7%, other 1.2%
- Languages: French (official), Hausa, Djerma
- Population Below Poverty Line: 63%
- Infant Mortality Rate: 112.22 deaths/1,000 live births
- Unemployment Rate: N/A
Niger is located on the Western Africa, southeast of Algeria. After their independence in 1960, Niger transitioned to a democratically elected government in 1999, following almost a decade of political instability. Rural subsistence agriculture, livestock, uranium mining, and informal trading activities dominate Niger's economy.
About 80% of the total land area of Niger is covered by the Sahara desert and the desert keeps spreading chasing farmers away from their farm lands. Majority of the Niger population live in rural areas and are mostly subsistence farmers who grow crops (mainly millet) and rear animals (mostly cattle, sheep and goats) just to feed themselves and their families.
Sixty-three percent of Niger's population lives on less than a dollar a day, and the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) was $280 in 2005. Social indicators are low: the infant mortality rate is 151.8 per 1,000, life expectancy is 44.7 years, and the literacy rate is 17%. Even when harvests are good, a shocking 40% of children -- one million -- suffer from chronic malnutrition, and Niger's under-five mortality rate is the second highest in the world. A September 2005 nutritional survey conducted by UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the government of Niger confirmed that 15.3% of children under five years of age suffer from acute malnutrition.