Niger (pronounced: nee-ZHAIR) is an arid, landlocked country of the Sahel with a population of 16 million. It is bordered by Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Nigeria, Chad and Libya. Areas near the Mali border are essentially lawless, and travel near the border is very dangerous. Droughts, floods and locust infestation all contribute to the country's chronic food insecurity -- and the poverty rate is one of the highest in the world.