If you search on a map for the world's 10 poorest countries, you'll find most of them in just one region, West Africa. Seven nations on that list are clustered to the south and south-west of the Sahara Desert - an area plagued by political turmoil and hit hard by climate change. And the poorest country in that region is th landlocked nation of Niger.
Niger ranks among the world's neediest places. Oxford University's Multidimensional Poverty Index shows 92 per cent of Niger's population is trapped in "multi-dimensional" poverty, the highest proportion of 109 countries investigated.
It ranks 186 out of 187 countries on the UN's Human Development Index.
6 million of Niger's 16 million people don't have enough to eat.The price of some staple grains has risen by 75 per cent since last year.
Research by Save the Children shows Niger has replaced Afghanistan as the worst place in the world to be a mother and about one in every seven children die before their first birthday.
Niger's literacy rate is just 29 per cent (about 10 per cent for women), adults have spent an average of only 1.4 years at school.