Niger is a land-locked republic on the edge of the Sahara, recognised internationally as the poorest country in the world. It has a population of 10 million, with 80% relying on subsistence crop growing and livestock rearing. However, only 15% of the land is arable and that is mostly in the south of the country near the river Niger. The Nigeriens are 80% Muslim, have a literacy rate of 14% and a life expectancy of 44 years. Its health system is basic and disease is widespread. Access to water and sanitation is limited, and sanitation coverage stands at just 9%.