Niger is the largest country in Western Africa. Around 80 percent of it is covered by the Sahara desert and the non-desert parts frequently suffer droughts and food shortages.
In 2012, Niger faced a severe food crisis, which affected more than 5 million people. We have been working with our partner CADEV (Caritas Niger) to:
• Run nutrition centres for malnourished children
• Pay people in cash or food to work on projects that benefit their communities
• Support cereal banks that provide grain at subsidised prices
• Distribute food to the most vulnerable
• Organise seed fairs, so that farmers can plant in the next agricultural season.
We are also supporting refugees who have come into Niger from Libya and Mali as a result of conflict.
We didn’t have to leave our village in previous seasons, because we managed to harvest some beans. This year there was nothing. I am very attached to my village, and there is no way we would have left if we hadn’t been forced to. If my wife finds some food, she prepares it for us, but it’s only one meal a day anyway. If there’s nothing, we don’t eat.”