The people of the West African Sahel country of Niger face frequent droughts and famine. They suffer from food shortages, chronic malnutrition and epidemics. Niger ranks last in the UN Human Development Index. HEKS/EPER has been working in Niger since the great drought of the 1970s and, together with local partner organizations, is improving food security, the preservation of natural resources, and access to land and water for peasant families and pastoralists. Development projects also foster peaceful dialogue between the various stakeholders in the resource-poor country and hence better living conditions over the long term. Agro-ecological farming methods and peaceful coexistence help people better prepare for future droughts and natural disasters.
In 2020, HEKS/EPER secured collective access for 52 400 people to 2462.5 hectares of land to be used for agricultural production or as livestock corridors. Some 5400 small farmers were trained in sustainable agriculture. A total of 9300 people were connected to the existing water supply network, including some 2400 pupils and 2850 patients at health centres.