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Mary’s Meals feeds more than 200 children every school day in Niger

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Where we work

Life in Niger

Niger is currently ranked 189 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI) and is one of the poorest and least developed places in the world.  An estimated 16.1 million people have insufficient food intake and nearly half of all children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition.  World Bank estimates 50.63% of the population of Niger lives below the International Poverty Line ($2.15 per day).

One of the largest land-locked countries in West Africa, the country takes its name from the Niger river. Over 80% of its land is located in the Sahara Desert, making it one of the world’s hottest nations.

Niger sits on some of the largest uranium deposits on the planet but is in great poverty and debt. The economy is based on subsistence agriculture and the export of raw commodities – main exports include oilseeds, mineral fuels and chemicals.  Niger’s short rainy season and the rate of growth in population are just some of the reasons for widespread hunger.

In Niger, an estimated 1.8 million children are out of school. Desperate children can resort to stealing food and are sent to overcrowded remand centers where they spend long periods awaiting trial. Many of these children have never even set foot in a classroom.

There is a gap between boys and girls accessing primary education, with net enrollments rates of 60.3% for boys, compared to 55% for girls in primary education.

Mary's Meals in Niger

Mary’s Meals has been serving school meals in Niger since 2020.

Working with a trusted partner, Grandir Dignement, we serve much-needed meals to more than 200 children in five youth remand centres in Niger. There is no stable provision of food in the centres and Mary’s Meals is a lifeline. The meals are served to children taking part in prison education programs, offering them vital nourishment and a chance to learn

When did we start working in Niger?

Mary’s Meals has been serving school meals in Niger since 2020

How many children do we feed in Niger?

We are currently serving 204 children in five youth remand centers

What meal do we provide?

A typical meal consists of rice and beans or meat with vegetables

Where are we based/where do we operate?

One detention center in Niamey, the capital city, one center in Dosso and three centers in central southern Niger, in the towns of Maradi, Zinder and Tahoua

What is the capital of Niger?

The capital city of Niger is Niamey

What language(s) are spoken in Niger?

French is the official language of Niger but Hausa is the most spoken.

What currency is used in Niger?

The West African CFA franc (XOF)

What is the population of Niger?

The population of Niger is 26,696,000