Unicef, Niger meningitis outbreak

In 2009 Western Africa faced one of the most virulent meningitis epidemics in the last five years, an infection that can cause irreversible brain damage and death in its first phases. Niger is situated at the northern tip of the meningitis strip and it alone accounted for 11.600 cases and 472 deaths. In collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Doctors Without Borders, Unicef administered over 2 million doses of vaccine. These photos taken on assignment for Unicef document some of the phases of vaccine distribution.

The female fertility index and population growth in Niger are the highest in the world. Considering that every woman has an average of 7 children, at this rate, the current population of 14 million is set to reach 50 million in 2050. Managing the 10-30 years age group is therefore extremely delicate. The Nigerien government enjoys the collaboration of UN agencies and NGO’s to contain the street kids phenomenon which has emerges in the biggest cities in the country. Through the SEJUP program, Unicef coordinates identification, aid and training activities for at risk youth. Youngsters charged with minor crimes are authorized to attend special centers while those charged with more serious offenses participate in activities directly inside the Niamey prison, in the female juvenile facility.


ING Direct (ING Dutch BANK) is one of Unicef Ethiopia's most generous donors. The partnership concerns all the critical areas Unicef is involved in, including education to aid for children in need and their families, supplying food and dietary supplements in remote and needy areas. These pictures were taken in Ethiopia during a trip made by an ING Direct delegation.