HI is working in Niger to improve living conditions for Malian refugees in Niamey, as well as for people with disabilities throughout the country, and to secure weapons stockpiles to limit the threat to the local population.
HI Niger | © Franck Pinay Rabaroust
Actions in process
HI aims to improve the situation for people with disabilities in Niger by offering support to their representative organisations. Training is also provided to local authorities to encourage them to take people with disabilities into account when implementing policies, so they can enjoy the same rights as their fellow citizens (the right to representation, to attend school to move around freely etc.).
Our teams are particularly concerned with the issue of access to education for children with disabilities and work to ensure they are able to get to school and that the setting is adapted to their needs. Through its education project, HI ensures that over 3,300 children with disabilities can get to school and benefit from a suitable learning environment. In order to guarantee the project’s future viability, the organisation has provided training and awareness-raising for numerous stakeholders in the inclusive education and disability sectors. The participants include 300 headteachers and teachers from 530 schools.
HI also uses its expertise to support the Malian refugees currently living in Niamey, having fled the drought and fighting in north Mali (from summer 2012). The organisation has also taken over the management of the one-stop shop where refugees can be referred to the different services they require (health, education etc.).
Since 2016, HI leads a project to prevent developmental delays and disabilities among children affected by malnutrition, using physiotherapy and physical and emotional stimulation (through parents-children interactions, educational games…). A targeted 10 500 Nigeran children will have received specific care in the coming two years.
Finally, HI also runs a project to secure the country's armed forces' weapons and munitions stockpiles with the aim of limiting the risk of accidents. The organisation simultaneously works on the construction and rehabilitaiton of adapted storage facilities, and the destruction of obsolete weapons and munitions.
Situation of the country
Situated in the Sahel, Niger is considered to be one of the poorest countries in the world. Over half the population is destitute, living off less than one euro a day.
Niger's population is also characterised by its youth: 50.1% are under 15 years of age.
In this already very difficult context, the situation of people with disabilities is aggravated by significant discrimination and socio-economic inequalities. These discriminations take the form of extremely limited access to education, employment and health services, very limited citizen participation and a failure to take into account the specific needs of people with disabilities in development actions.
In addition, located between Nigeria, Chad, Libya, Algeria and Mali, Niger is weakened by political instability, incursions of armed groups from neighbouring countries and the influx of refugees, particularly from Mali and Nigeria.