Niger is an emerging democracy landlocked in the Sahel, an increasingly unstable region facing numerous threats such as terrorism and climate change. Despite economic growth driven by the expansion of extractive industries, and recent progress in reducing poverty, broad-based development has been hampered by poor infrastructure, extremely low education levels, and multiple concurrent climatic shocks such as droughts and floods.
Economic progress is being further challenged by the highest fertility rate in the world (7 children per woman), which is set to double the population size over the next twenty years. These hurdles, coupled with the increasing presence of violence, crime, and extremism, particularly along the border regions with neighboring Mali, burkina faso, and Nigeria, put Niger at risk of a reversal of its recent development gains. Niger is also grappling with a significant influx of refugees fleeing conflicts in the region, particularly in Nigeria and Mali.