Located in the heart of the Sahel, Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. Landlocked and subject to extreme weather, the country currently faces the dual challenge of high population growth and regional instability. AFD is providing support to Niger in priority sectors: food security and rural development, education, water and sanitation, energy, health care and governance.
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Niger school girls
AFD and Niger: reducing poverty and promoting education for young people
landscape Niger

Improving food security

food security, Niger

Improving food security

Famine is still a major threat in certain communities in Niger and child malnutrition rates are particularly high. In 2012, the government of Niger adopted a strategic framework for Food and Nutritional Security and Sustainable Agricultural Development (SAN/DAD), known as the 3N Initiative: “Nigeriens nourishing Nigeriens”, with a related action plan. The objective for 2035 is to ensure that the country's inhabitants are protected from hunger and malnutrition over the long term and to provide them with opportunities to work in the national production sector and increase their income. 

With 12 projects currently underway (7 national projects amounting to €145 million and 5 regional projects), AFD is improving food security in almost all of Niger's regions, through:

  • local and territorial development
  • natural resource management and the development of production in the agro-sylvo-pastoral sector (production, processing and marketing)
  • institutional support for organizations involved in the prevention and management of food crises.

Promoting youth education and employment

Education and employment, Niger

Promoting youth education and employment

Niger's population is growing at 3.9% per year, putting considerable strain on its education system. Nearly 80% of children are now enrolled in school, a figure which has doubled in 15 years. However, the country is struggling to provide its young people with quality schooling and employment, and has many issues to address: teacher management and training, adapting education to economic conditions, and illiteracy.

For example, the government of Niger has adopted a proactive policy to improve the quality of its education system (Education and Training Sector Program 2014-2024). AFD is therefore supporting the government in its efforts by applying a program-based approach to education policy and by backing projects that target vulnerable young people in crisis areas:

  • AFD is responsible for coordinating the partners of the Education Sector Common Fund, set up by the Niger government in order to pool financing for education, and is supporting the implementation of the Education and Training Sector Transition Program (Programme de Transition Sectoriel de l’Education et de la Formation - PTSEF), by providing grants and delegating funds, in particular, from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
  • AFD is financing two social and vocational integration projects for young people in the Diffa region and the department of Bilma.
  • AFD is supporting the project led by the NGO Aide et Action, which aims to reduce school dropout rates in several districts of Niamey.

Supporting territorial economic development

Supporting regional economic development, Niger

Supporting territorial economic development

Niger is a desert country located in the heart of the Sahel. It can be difficult to access drinking water due to a lack of specific infrastructure, and there are major disparities in facilities between rural and urban areas. To address the sector's major challenges, in 2017, Niger launched a number of ambitious programs to facilitate access to water and sanitation and improve water management.
While the country has significant potential in the energy sector, very few households currently have access to electricity. To meet the growing energy demand, Niger has launched major electricity generation and distribution projects, with the aim of diversifying its electricity production mix and securing its supply.

AFD is helping to facilitate access to water and energy in Niger through:

Strengthening the health system

Assessing equity in health spending in Sub-Saharan Africa

Strengthening the health system

Niger's health statistics are a cause for concern: life expectancy is limited to 61.9 years and the rate of infant malnutrition is 43%. This is due in part to an aging infrastructure, isolation of the population and a shortage of human and medical resources. 

To address this, in 2015 the Government set up a National Health Policy and a Health Development Plan to improve the standard of health care for Nigeriens.

AFD is providing assistance through two projects:

  • Since 2006, we have been contributing to the Common Health Fund in order to coordinate actions with the Health Development Plan.
  • Since 2014, we have been participating in the Sahel Solidarity Health initiative to improve the health of mothers and children.

We are also looking to finance one project to assist the demographic transition and another to combat chronic malnutrition in the Sahel, with the Gates Foundation.

Strengthening governance and modernizing the state

Governance, Niger

Strengthening governance and modernizing the state

To improve governance of public institutions and support government-led initiatives throughout the country, AFD is financing one project focused on legal justice in Niger, and another backing the State and public services in their emergency response to areas in crisis (Diffa and Tillabéri).

AFD has also pledged to support public finance reform to mobilize domestic resources, through a €30 million public policy grant and technical project assistance.

In addition, AFD has enlisted technical support from the National Agency for the Information Society (ANSI) to develop the government of Niger’s digital services.

years’ operating in Niger
million committed since 2010
million beneficiaries between 2015 and 2018

Situated in the heart of the Sahel, Niger is a vast, landlocked desert country, covering over a million square kilometers. Its population of 20 million is growing at around 4% per year: one of the highest rates in the world.

As the least advanced country worldwide in terms of human development, with the highest population growth (3.8% per year), it is essential that Niger ramps up its development strategy, amid the complex security crisis in the Sahel (Tillabéri and Diffa) and the effects of climate change. The country is facing many challenges: it must provide its people with access to essential services and prepare its youth to integrate the job market. 

Nonetheless, Niger boasts a number of assets, with its enduring sense of national unity, abundant natural resources and high potential in the agricultural sector, as well as an international community ready to rally in support.

AFD has been a key partner in Niger for 62 years. It has made access to basic services a top priority: water, energy, health care, education and employment, to ensure a brighter future for young Nigeriens, while at the same time working to improve food security, strengthen governance and modernize the State.

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Evaluation document

Sectoral aid in practice

Dec 2009
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