Climate shocks and nutrition: The role of food security policies and programs in enhancing maternal and neonatal survival in Niger

Shelley Walton, Nasreen S. Jessani, Heather Jue-Wong, Elizabeth A. Hazel, Nadia Akseer, Almamy Malick Kante, Ousseini Youssoufa, Rebecca Heidkamp, Assanatou Bamogo, Agbessi Amouzou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Niger is afflicted with high rates of poverty, high fertility rates, frequent environmental crises, and climate change. Recurrent droughts and floods have led to chronic food insecurity linked to poor maternal and neonatal nutrition outcomes in vulnerable regions. We analyzed maternal and neonatal nutrition trends and subnational variability between 2000 and 2021 with a focus on the implementation of policies and programs surrounding two acute climate shocks in 2005 and 2010. We used four sources of data: (a) national household surveys for maternal and newborn nutritional indicators allowing computation of trends and differences at national and regional levels; (b) document review of food security reports; (c) 30 key informant interviews and; (d) one focus group discussion. Many food security policies and nutrition programs were enacted from 2000 to 2020. Gains in maternal and neonatal nutrition indicators were more significant in targeted vulnerable regions of Maradi, Zinder, Tahoua and Tillabéri, from 2006 to 2021. However, poor access to financial resources for policy execution and suboptimal implementation of plans have hindered progress. In response to the chronic climate crisis over the last 20 years, the Nigerien government and program implementers have demonstrated their commitment to reducing food insecurity and enhancing resilience to climate shocks by adopting a deliberate multisectoral effort. However, there is more that can be achieved with a continued focus on vulnerable regions to build resilience, targeting high risk populations, and investing in infrastructure to improve health systems, food systems, agriculture systems, education systems, and social protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13566
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Niger
  • climate change
  • food security
  • maternal
  • neonatal
  • nutrition
  • resilience
  • subnational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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