Cross-sectoral programmes

Children and adolescents can unlock the door to prosperity, peace and development.

UNICEF NIGER
UNICEF Niger/Tremeau

Challenges

Children under 18 make up 58 per cent of the population of 21.5 million in Niger. Nearly half of its people live in poverty, and the nation consistently ranks near the bottom in the United Nations Human Development Index.

Poverty hits children the hardest. Around 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 from three or more essential social services.

Poor and vulnerable children carry the burden of disease, malnutrition, illiteracy and violence, abuse and exploitation. Harmful social norms and practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage are also all too common, affecting adolescent girls in particular.

Growing up in the Nigerien context is not easy. The country itself faces great hurdles to its development: climate change that hinders rural development; vulnerability due to the absence of economic diversification; high population growth; gender inequality; low levels of literacy and education; and the size and landlocked nature of the country, which make it very difficult to provide essential goods and services to the population.

Nigeriens, and especially the most vulnerable such as children and women, are also heavily affected by the deteriorating security situation in the north-west and south-east parts of the country. Since 2011, extremist armed groups have been responsible for significant violence against civilians in the regions of Diffa and Tillaberi, and along the border with Mali in Tahoua region.

Solutions

Social Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

UNICEF rallies behind the most disadvantaged children and families, ensuring that their rights are fully recognized in national and local policies, strategies, programmes and public resources.

UNICEF also works with public services, private institutions and civil society responsible for statistics and/or research to produce and promote the use of evidence in advocacy, planning, and monitoring and evaluation of policies, budgets and programmes for children and women.

Communication for Development

UNICEF works with the Government, religious bodies, communities, women, adolescents, young people and community media to promote positive social and behaviour change, and to change social norms that are harmful to children and women.

In particular, communities and families are mobilized to promote key family practices and to end child rights violations such as early marriage.

Work with out-of-school children and young people involves their participation in initiatives that build their skills and promote active citizenship and peace-building.

Strategic communication

UNICEF’s communication and public advocacy helps to build awareness, knowledge and engagement around child rights among the general public, policy makers, and the media. This is done by collaborating closely with global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors and celebrities, donors, UNICEF National Committees and international and local media houses.

Resources

Available publications, surveys, reports will be added in this section