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Children with Disabilities in Niger to Receive Food Assistance

Children with Disabilities in Niger to Receive Food Assistance

Although children suffer some of the greatest effects of food insecurity, there is another group that suffers even more hardship — impoverished children with disabilities. In Niger, this is particularly acute in the capital of Niamey since most food security initiatives focus on rural areas.

Fortunately, almost 1,600 children with disabilities – most of them blind – in the capital of Niger will receive two meals a day as part of a new one-year program to reduce malnutrition and keep kids in school. Launched today, it is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and implemented by the U.S. non-profit Counterpart.

At the launching ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to Niger Bisa Williams said:

“This food assistance will certainly allow persons with disabilities to lead a more active and dynamic life. Such support is essential to eradicating poverty and to limiting the negative effects of begging. The American Government through USAID is proud to support this initiative in partnership with Government of Niger and Counterpart International.”

While most food assistance programs concentrate activities in rural areas, USAID’s International Food Relief Partnership will focus on urban poverty. Also unique to the program is the participation of two nongovernmental organizations — the National Blind People’s Union and Handicap Niger — serving and run by people with disabilities.

“This initiative is another example of how Counterpart works with communities to overcome obstacles facing the most disadvantaged,” says Joan Parker, President and CEO of Counterpart. “These children will stay in school, live healthier lives and contribute to their communities, regardless of their disabilities.”

Elsewhere in Niger, Counterpart is helping communities in the Zinder region to overcome food insecurity through nutrition, agricultural training and other activities through 2013. In the Diffa region, Counterpart has a one-year initiative that supports 24 health centers, education for pregnant and lactating women and the rehabilitation of 65 cereal banks. Both programs are funded by USAID.

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Photo credit: Counterpart International
By Michael Zamba

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8:51AM PDT on Jun 10, 2011

A great initiative.

10:00AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011


5:18AM PDT on Jun 9, 2011

Niger is a country of contrasts, those starving to death surrounded by food - food that they cannot afford to buy. I'm delighted that this is being recognized even if only in part.

11:15PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011


This is a great initiative!

I am involved in a project called "The Great Translation Chain" and would love to put the first part of your article up for translation. In this way the cause gets greater visibility in other languages!

Please take a look at the project and let me know if this would be OK.



8:06PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Thanks for this article.

6:02PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Thank you Laura, sorry.

6:01PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

Excellent, but why this as to happen when 1/3 of food produced is wasted?

4:58PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

sadly we must be glad they are getting 2 meals a day for one year.

1:43PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

May God bless them and strengthen them for you have to be really tough to survive a disability+poverty and in a country like Niger.

1:32PM PDT on Jun 8, 2011

thank you.

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