Niger, an emerging democracy landlocked in the increasingly unstable Sahel region, consistently ranks at or near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index. Despite increased economic growth catalyzed by expanding extractive industries, broad-based development has been hampered by poor infrastructure, extremely low education levels and multiple concurrent natural disasters due to the country’s vulnerability to climate change. Economic progress is further challenged by the highest fertility rate in the world, which essentially doubles the population every twenty years. These hurdles, coupled with armed conflicts in neighboring Nigeria, Mali and Libya and the presence of armed extremists in the north, risk reversing the development gains Niger has made in the past few years.
In areas where communities are suffering from the effects of poor harvests, extreme poverty, high food prices, a locust threat, and conflict spilling over from Mali, USAID is committing to designing and implementing new programs and coordinate them with existing US Government assistance investments. Programs scale up adaptations already underway and leverage programs being implemented by other actors to enhance resilience against future shocks in some of Niger’s most vulnerable communities. Additional investments are targeting improved health and education, and strengthening the country’s democratic institutions while promoting peace and stability.
Last updated: February 17, 2016