Countries of West and Central Africa



Less than one in ten women in Niger can read and write.  Literacy is essential for women to break out of the cycle of poverty.
© UNICEF/Giacomo Pirozzi

Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. More than one in five children dies before the age of five. Malnutrition, unsafe drinking water, insufficient access to safe water and hygiene and the lack of access to sanitation and basic health services are the underlying causes of deaths in children under 5 years due to preventable illnesses such as malaria, diarrhoea, respiratory infections and malnutrition.  In the fight against poverty, UNICEF is working with partners to improve children’s chances of survival and development.

UNICEF’s goal for the Country Programme 2004 – 2007 is to reduce poverty in Niger by improving the living conditions of children and women.  UNICEF is working to achieve significant key results by 2007.  Each component of the Country Programme is working to bring down mortality rates among young children, babies and expectant mothers.  The components are:
• Health/Nutrition
• Basic Education
• Child Protection and Rights Promotion
• Community Development 
• Communication

UNICEF is focusing on improving the lives of children in their early years, and accelerating opportunities for all children, especially girls, to go to school. 

Each Programme components is strengthening UNICEF’s partnerships with governments, NGOs, community-based organizations, local and traditional leaders, families, children and young people who share the same vision, values and commitments to the rights of every child.  In a country with deeply rooted customs and tremendous challenges to development, UNICEF is using a blend of traditional and modern, institutional as well as grassroots approaches to build on the measurable progress that has already been made to initiate change and improve lives.  
















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