NIAMEY (Niger), 27 June 2011 - More than 1.2 million Niger’s children and 200 000 women, living in the most affected food insecure regions of Diffa, Maradi, Tahoua and Zinder regions, are the beneficiaries of a new Japanese Government funding of $5 million.
This financial contribution by the Japanese Government will support the implementation of interventions aimed at offering prevention and treatment of moderate and severe malnutrition to children aged six to 59 months, malaria in pregnant women and of the three killer diseases of children in Niger (diarrhea, malaria and pneumonia).
Chronic malnutrition still affects 47 per cent of all children under the age of five. The prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) among children under-five years of age has decreased but nevertheless remains above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent in five of the country’s eight regions. Despite the improvement of health indicators, too many children in Niger still die from preventable and treatable diseases.
“Financial backing of our programmes by external donors and specifically those targeting the reduction of childhood diseases are working miracles for children in Niger as new survey figures have shown,” said UNICEF Niger representative Guido rnale.
A recently published survey showed a decline in the number of children dying before the age of five with one in eight children dying in 2010 against one in five in 2005.These encouraging result in the reduction of the under-five mortality in Niger were achieved thanks to relentless efforts and financial backing for low-cost and high impact lifesaving interventions by the Nigerien Government and its partners.
Strategies such as the extension of health services to rural areas, Government-mandated free health care, scaling up of active screening, referral and case management of Severe Acute Malnutrition; improvements in vaccination and large-scale distribution of insecticide impregnated bed nets contributed in bringing down the number of children that die from childhood diseases every year in Niger.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
For further information please contact:
Anne Boher, UNICEF Niger, Head of Communication.
Tel + 227 96 96 21 59;