The billboard propped up at the side of the dusty road offers what the land it stands on cannot provide : a sack of grain, the top prize in an advertising campaign sponsored by a mobile phone company. (..) "These are very high levels of child malnutrition, the situation is bad," said Gianluca Ferrera, deputy director for the UN world food programme (WFP) in Niger. "The loss in harvest last year was worse than expected, and the lean season started earlier than anticipated for a larger share of the population. "In some areas, there is a 50% malnutrition rate for children under 2. Many of these children will not survive."