Niger suffers from endemic poverty. In spite of some progress in the health and education sectors, progress towards the UN Millennium Development Goals is slow and difficult.
The country is facing again a difficult lean season. The situation is characterized by pockets of food insecurity in agro-pastoral and agricultural areas. Food insecure households suffer from a weak livelihood base and risky coping strategies. These households spend up to 72% of their income on food.
In spite of a relatively satisfactory harvest, household production still does not cover needs, while part of the crops is dedicated to repaying debts accumulated in 2005. Cereal prices remain high and the population’s coping capacities have been reduced by last year’s crisis, which pushed thousands of the poorest further into poverty and debt.