© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-2674/Pirozzi

A woman breastfeeds her infant in front of her village home near the southern town of Maradi. Under-five mortality rates are 20 per cent in the country, largely due to preventable childhood diseases and malnutrition.


Child hunger and undernutrition are still an issue in Niger. In some areas, global acute malnutrition in children under age five reaches a troubling 15.7 per cent. The recurrent cholera and meningitis outbreaks as well as floods, added to the insurgency of rebel groups in the northern part of Niger, which led to the displacement of approximately 15,000 people, widely affect the well-being and lives of children and women throughout the country. One child out of five will die before reaching his/her fifth birthday, while the maternal mortality ratio is one of the highest in the world at 650 deaths per 100,000 live births.


In 2009, UNICEF will continue to be cluster lead for nutrition and will reach 635,000 children affected by undernutrition. In the other humanitarian areas, UNICEF is preparing to cover the needs of 10,000 vulnerable children and women.

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will support nutritional therapeutic and supplementary feeding centres to cover the needs of 635,000 undernourished children (or an estimated 60 per cent of children in need) and will continue to reinforce effective nutritional surveillance. A nationwide blanket feeding operation reaching approximately 250,000 children under age three is also part of the 2009 plan. UNICEF will procure and distribute supplies for the meningitis vaccination of 75,000 children and the management of 10,000 cases of meningitis and 1,500 cases of cholera. 

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF’s response will cover the needs of a population of 10,000 people (1,250 households), who may either be affected by floods, displacement or by cholera outbreaks. UNICEF will provide water and sanitation equipment, and support the renovation/construction of up to 30 water points/water supply systems in 30 schools and 10 health centres in affected areas.

Education: UNICEF will support the training of 30 teachers, 30 community educators and 700 parents, and generally support the Regional Directorate of Agadez in its efforts to maintain all children at school. In case of floods, UNICEF will distribute school kits and material to build temporary learning spaces.

Child Protection: UNICEF plans to reinforce those grass-roots organizations and NGOs, which are supporting income-generating activities in areas affected by the insecurity or stricken by natural disasters in 2009. The current forecast is to assist 1,000 disadvantaged households (benefiting 5,000 children) who will then have improved access to basic social services.

Mine Action: UNICEF will continue supporting the National Commission for the Collection and Control of Illegal Weapons in order to develop and put in place a plan for mine-risk education for children, based on locally adapted education tools.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 12,689,148
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 800,000
Education 450,000
Child Protection 80,000
Mine Action 50,000
Total** 14,069,148

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other, underfunded emergencies.
** The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.