Malnutrition is widespread across Niger. Around two-fifths of children are underweight and half are stunted due to lack of adequate nutrition (World Health Organization 2000-2009).
The government of Niger has set up a programme known as the 3N or "Nigeriens nourish Nigeriens" to build a framework for moving the country towards food security.
The situation has been worsened by regular and severe droughts over the last few years. In 2012, Niger’s government predicted that nearly half the population were facing food shortages and asked for international assistance.
In response, agencies have sent emergency supplies and fortified foods for mothers with children. But they have also been working to help communities build up greater resilience to drought in the future.
For example, the World Food Programme offers a small daily pay to people who help with small-scale projects, such as building irrigation and water-gathering systems.
Communities are also being advised to adopt different farming techniques, such as agro-pastoralism, which combines livestock breeding with planting crops. And the regeneration of trees is helping local growing environments – see Reforestation.