This is Balki Souley, 14, and she was married by the age of 12. She recently lost her baby, who was born dead. Her body was so weak that she almost lost her life in the process. Balki is one of the many underaged girls in Niger who suffers from hunger, and as a result, is sent off to get married at a young age.
Niger has the world’s highest rate of child marriage, with roughly one out of two girls marrying before the age of 15, some as young as 7.
“The fear is, if the food crisis continues, that more parents will use marriage as a survival strategy and that we’ll see more girls married before the age of 15” said Djanabou Mahonde, the head of child protection at UNICEF.