The people of the West African Sahel country of Niger face frequent droughts and famine. They suffer from food shortages, chronic malnutrition and epidemics. In the UN Human Development Index, Niger shares ranks second to last. HEKS/EPER has been working in Niger since the great drought of the 1970s and, together with local partner organizations, is improving food security, access to land and the preservation of natural resources. Over the long term, development projects are leading to improved living conditions and supporting beneficiaries in better preparing themselves for future droughts. HEKS/EPER and its partners supply humanitarian aid during acute food crises.
In 2019, HEKS/EPER secured collective access for 45’000 people to 1033 hectares of land to be used for agricultural production or as livestock corridors. Of the 13’000 smallholders supported, 84 per cent were able to boost their income – owing to better production techniques and yields. Some 8800 families are benefiting from five new watering places that can cater for about 25,000 animals.