GOAL has supported vulnerable populations across Niger since 2005, when we first responded to the regional food security crisis. Led from our head office in Niamey, our 65-strong team managed an annual operating budget of €1.7M in 2018. Together they implement programmes that build community resilience and well-being through the delivery of integrated emergency response, humanitarian and development initiatives.
What we do in Niger
Helping communities survive crises
Leveraging 40 years' global experience, GOAL Niger provides Emergency Response to sudden-onset and protracted humanitarian crises. This includes the provision of life-saving nutrition interventions, the distribution of food and non-food items, as well as emergency response to chronic disease outbreaks. The programme also works to strengthen local systems and build capacity for emergency preparedness.
GOAL's response to Niger’s recent cholera outbreak is an example of this two phased approach - with work focused on immediate service provision and future prevention activity. Given Niger’s ongoing instability, this dual focus on humanitarian programming and long-term resilience will remain an ongoing priority.
Innovation to address evolving health challenges
In Niger, Resilient Health focuses on key programmes in nutrition, maternal and sexual reproductive health. Taking an integrated approach to the management of acute malnutrition, GOAL is building systemic capacity to improve patient care, as well as delivering community-based activities to support prevention, diagnosis and treatment. We are also piloting a sexual reproductive health project to promote family planning and encourage facility-based delivery.
Given that Niger is a climate change hot-spot plagued by drought, environmental degradation and rapid population growth, GOAL is keen to explore methods that address these issues in combination. This includes a new programme working with young people to promote positive behaviours linked to climate change adaption and sexual reproductive health.
Addressing the underlying cause of malnutrition
GOAL’s work in nutrition encompasses both prevention and direct treatment. We use our Nutrition Impact and Positive Practice (NIPP) approach to address behavioural risk-factors, train community members in MUAC (Middle Upper Arm Circumference) measurement and strengthen case identification/referral systems. We also support nutrition education by working to improve teachers’ and students’ understanding of health, nutrition and hygiene practices.
This is complimented by GOAL's partnership with the World Food Programme which provides girls with financial support they need to stay in school. GOAL is also working to increase food security through agricultural activity. This includes the construction of cereal and fodder banks to store supplies during the country's lean season.
Integrated activity at household and community level
Building on GOAL's work in Food & Nutrition Security, our Sustainable Livelihoods programme focuses on food production to optimise subsistence outputs and address basic shortages. We support households and communities to practice ‘habanaye’, a traditional Nigerian livestock generational rotation system. Cash-for-work also sees community members carry out ‘zaï’ - a traditional practice to regenerate areas experiencing environmental desertification.
Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) then work to promote financial inclusion, support business growth and build long-term economic security.
GOAL's COVID-19 response in Niger
In Niger, GOAL is working with community health workers, youth associations and public town criers using a PA system on messaging. As of April 23rd GOAL teams have started Community Led Action (CLA) training in over 70 villages in the Zinder and Tillabery regions.
- 15,935 children treated for severe acute malnutrition in 2018.
- 350 community health workers and 7,035 mothers trained to use MUAC measuring tapes in 2018.
- More than 6,000 people joined GOAL’s Nutrition Impact and Positive Practice (NIPP) work since 2014.
- 29,400 people supported through asset restoration and capacity building for food security and sustainable livelihoods since 2015.