Where We Work

Introduction to Niger

Known as the “Frying Pan of the World’, West Africa’s second largest country is considered one of the hottest nations in the world. Home to the largest protected area in Africa, Niger’s population of 24.21 million is divided into 7 regions and 8 national languages. 

Although Niger has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, it still remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Drought, floods, and epidemics frequently cause food insecurity and health crises. 

In addition to its own displaced population, Niger is a transit country for Europe-bound migrants and refugees fleeing conflict in Mali and Nigeria. The region hosts over 100,000 internally displaced persons and 126,000 refugees. Cross-border violence is also a frequent challenge. 

This increases the strain on the limited resources available for protection, food, WASH, and healthcare services, to name a few. On top of that, natural disasters such as floods exacerbate existing food insecurities and other needs.

Why do the people of Niger need your support?

For people across Niger, life is incredibly challenging:

  • Niger has the highest rates of child marriages in the world with 76% of girls and young women married before their 18th birthday (Girls Not Brides)

  • On the national level 50% of children, 7 to 16 years of age, are not going to school (UNICEF Niger)

  • 267,000 people are internally displaced as a result of disasters and 257,000 due to conflict and violence (iDMC, 2020) 

  • Only 56% of the population has access to a source of drinking water and 13% to basic sanitation services (UNICEF)

Islamic Relief in Niger

Islamic Relief first started its work in Niger in 2005 through emergency response programs. With a main office in Niamey and operations in Tillaberi and Dosso, Islamic Relief Canada supports development programming in the sectors of WASH, food security and livelihoods, and protection. 

All of Islamic Relief Canada’s current programs in Niger are long-term development projects that aim to reduce poverty and food insecurity, empower women and girls through economic security, and build resilience to climate change. 

The Strengthening Protection for Women, Girls, People with Disabilities, and Older People in Tillabery forms women’s community groups across 20 villages where women join savings and loan associations, engage in community-based advocacy, and access workshops on business development and financial literacy. 

This project also has a protection services component in which Community Hope Action Teams develop protection action plans, work closely with the municipality to ensure effective referrals for survivors of abuse and gender-based violence, and host education sessions on WASH, maternal health and legal services.  

Islamic Relief Canada’s Integrated Program to Build Resilience to Climate Change is a 3 year project that aims to address the issues of community limited coping capacity to disasters and decreased food availability in the Fakara region.

Your donations in action

Through our Integrated Water & Livelihood Support for Two Villages project, we reached 4,596 individuals who lacked access to local clean and safe water supplies. The project provided 2 mini water supply systems and income generation for women through cooperatives, access to milling equipment, and 1 hectare of a shared market garden. 

Maimouna, a 25 year old resident of Kassa and mother of 3, used to spend long hours in the sun fetching water from a well, pounding millet and cooking food. With the provision of a local water supply and milling equipment Maimouna now has easier access to water and equipment, not only easing the process of attaining water but also giving her more time to rest and spend with family. 

Maimouna shared, 

“I thank Islamic Relief and its Donors infinitely for transforming our lives. I believe the changes provided by this project will enable us to cope with future droughts and let us earn more money in our business.”

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