Nutrition

The destructive wave of malnutrition in Niger needs to be halted.

Nutrition
Unicef Niger

Challenges

Malnutrition is a major threat to children’s health and development in Niger.

More than 4 out of 10 children under 5 are stunted, robbing them of their full potential.

Global acute malnutrition is consistently above the 10 per cent ‘alert’ level – even during times and in places where no nutrition-related emergencies have been declared.

Micronutrient deficiencies are rampant, and more than 70 per cent of children under 5 are anemic.

As Niger’s population continues to grow, the burden of malnutrition will persist, even with significant efforts in treatment and prevention.

Nutrition services have developed in scale and number but the lack of predictable funding to keep them going over the long-term is a major concern. Over 90 per cent of resources currently invested for scaling up nutrition interventions are from humanitarian sources or development funding with once-off, short-to-medium term contributions.

“Our plot of land doesn't give enough crops to feed us through the year.” 

19-year-old Aicha, mother to Nazirou who needed treatment for severe acute malnutrition at Dakoro Hospital in Maradi region. Aicha and her family are at the mercy of climate change in the rural areas of Niger.

 

Solutions

Malnutrition is not just about food, or just about health care, but is an issue that requires action from different angles. That is why UNICEF and its partners are helping Niger develop a multi-sectoral nutrition response.

This involves bringing different Government ministries and stakeholders to the table to work on policy-making, planning, coordination and management. Government institutions and civil society organizations are also supported to coordinate and implement an effective nutrition response in emergency situations.

UNICEF helps to strengthen nutrition service delivery, with a focus on preventing stunting, managing acute malnutrition, and reducing micronutrient deficiencies in children and women.

At community level, parents and caregivers, including fathers, are taught about the best way to feed infants and young children – through educational sessions and cooking demonstrations – and how to properly care for young children so that they do not become malnourished. Home-based fortification of complementary food is also promoted.

Resources

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

ISSUE BRIEF : Preventing Stunting in Niger Sept. 2018