World Food Day – Improving Food Security and Nutrition in Niger

World Food Day, October 16th, celebrates the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and is a day to bring awareness and improvements to hunger worldwide.

To mark World Food Day 2018, Kerry Group has partnered with a leading international NGO, Concern Worldwide, to embark on a mission to improve food security and nutrition in Niger.

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Niger, in West Africa, is a landlocked and largely arid state on the edge of the Sahara desert. It is rated by the UN as one of the world’s least developed nations and is among the worst performing countries in the 2018 Global Hunger Index.

The Tahoua region is one of the two poorest regions in Niger. It is a largely rural and arid region of predominately small-scale farmers, who are dependent on rain-fed subsistence agriculture. The poorest families in Tahoua exist in a state of chronic poverty as a result of erratic rainfall, pest invasion, advancing desertification and inadequate responses to climate change. Because of limited alternatives available to many families, negative coping mechanisms are common, such as distress migration and the sale of crucial assets.

The Realigning Agriculture to Improve Nutrition (RAIN) programme will make lasting improvements to food security, nutrition and the overall livelihoods in the Tahoua Region of Niger. This second phase of the RAIN programme will be implemented over a 4-year period and builds on the success of the previous Kerry funded RAIN project in Zambia.

The RAIN programme uses a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling hunger and malnutrition in some of the world’s poorest regions, with a core objective of increasing food production and encouraging a more diverse, nutrient-rich diet. The programme also works to promote key health practices for improved maternal and child nutrition, improve access to reliable and safe water sources and reduce inequalities experienced by the extreme poor and vulnerable, particularly women and girls.

By addressing these broader factors contributing to hunger and malnutrition, the objective of this second phase of the RAIN programme is to make a positive, long-term impact on the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.