A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
West Africa’s largest nation, landlocked Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world, placing 186 out of 187 on the UNDP’S Human Development Index ( 2011).
Oxfam works in Niger to secure livelihoods, basic social services, humanitarian emergency response, governance and gender justice.
The country’s economy relies on agriculture, mainly millet, sorghum and beans, as well as on livestock. A culturally diverse society, Niger’s population is concentrated in the South and Southeast of the country, where the climate is most suitable for agriculture. Fishing and market gardening happen along the 550 kilometers of the river Niger.
The private sector is critical to Niger’s economy. The presence of extractive industries (mainly uranium and petroleum) creates an opportunity for the country to generate income. Nonetheless, being landlocked and lacking the transport infrastructure, Niger is a net importer as exporting and importing costs are so high.
Oxfam in Niger
Oxfam has been working in Niger since 1992, collaborating with a significant number of partner organizations in the following areas: livelihoods, basic social services, humanitarian emergency response, governance and gender.
- Right to sustainable livelihood resources and food security, by means of raising productive capacities to address crises and climate change, by putting in place community early warning systems, and an analysis of the capacities and vulnerabilities of men and women.
- Right to basic social services, by means of lobby and demanding accountability from the state, and by raising investments for access to quality education and in pastoral communities.
- Right to social and political participation through a strong civil society and an innovative use of media.
- Right to an identity by means of reducing gender-based violence, promoting women’s leadership, solid waste management in the capital, and gender mainstreaming in all activities.
Our work reaches into these regions of Niger: Tillabéry, Dosso, Tahoua, Agadez, Maradi, Zinder and Niamey during the 2012 floods.
In Niger, we are installing water systems to make sure people have clean water to drink and distributing essential items such as cooking pots, buckets and water purifying tablets. We are providing food assistance and support to income generating activities for IDPs and refugees.