NIGER – PROJECT OF FIGHT AGAINST MALNUTRITION

is a landlocked country in West Africa. It has more than 15.3 million inhabitants, among whom 63% live under the monetary poverty line. Niger has been in a situation of food crisis for more than 10 years.

Spirulina, a variety of blue alga, easily farmable and not requiring large quantities of water, could be a cheap and efficient food supplement for populations suffering from lack of food. Very rich in amino acids, vitamins, mineral salts, oligo-elements and essential fatty acids, spirulina is a product that can be grown easily. In the region of Dosso, a farm produces quality spirulina, and 10 families live directly from this work.

Context

Problems of food security are at the centre of the discussions. In 2009, out of 6.8 billion people in the world, more than one billion was suffering from malnutrition. Among them, 265 million ill-nourished people live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Due to bad weather conditions and the increase in the price of food, Niger is today facing a food crisis; more than half of the population, i.e. 7.8 million persons are confronted to a shortage situation, and the rate of malnutrition is increasing.

Objectives

  • To enable 700 children and nursing women to go back to eating balanced food and no longer be in a state of malnutrition. The mix “misola + spirulina” produced locally is offered as a local alternative to the products generally used, issued from international trade.
  • To get the population acquainted with spirulina and with a good practice of hygiene and food.
  • To make a comparative study to confirm the nutritional qualities of spirulina in case of food crisis, in anticipation of extended programmes of fight against malnutrition in Sahel.

Results obtained

The investigation is being validated.

Perspectives

  • To develop the use of spirulina in other Red Cross Societies in order to fight against malnutrition of children and pregnant women.
  • To develop the culture of spirulina and create jobs while helping the populations.

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Project Note

Our partner on site, the Centre for physiotherapy and orthopaedic appliances Père Bernard Verspieren, supports families who cannot assume the cost of physiotherapy and orthopaedic appliances for their heavily disabled child (mainly children with cerebral motor disabilities), by covering more than 90% of the total cost for the treatment of a small patient.

Purpose: Support to the Centre Père Bernard Verspieren for the rehabilitation of disabled children

Recipients: 23 disabled children, as well as patients receiving consultations at the Centre and in the Medical Practice

Financial partner: Department of International Cooperation of Monaco (DCI)

Budget: 40,000 Euros

Period: 2010-2012

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