Niger Map OTI

Supporting and strengthening the ability of Nigerien communities and local leaders to address the threat of violent extremism.


Straddling the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin regions of West Africa, maintaining Niger’s stability is critically important for the region and for U.S. national security. The Nigerien government is a key U.S. Government partner within the Sahel-Maghreb Strategy, and the Counter Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa Strategy. Violent extremist activity has grown significantly in Niger in recent years and military operations against violent extremist organizations (VEOs) in Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali and Nigeria have pushed VEOs toward Niger, where hiding spaces, new recruits, and economic exploitation are readily available.


USAID/OTI’s Niger program began in 2014 to increase community engagement with government leaders and identify the key drivers of youth isolation and recruitment by VEOs. USAID/OTI works in some of the most marginalized and remote areas of Niger, partnering with local leaders to increase their ability to address violent extremist threats, focusing on:

  • Providing communities with the knowledge, skills and resources to resist VEOs;
  • Connecting Nigerien governing authorities with their constituents to address historical grievances and understand long-held feelings of exclusion among select ethnic groups; and
  • Reducing the reach of VEOs into areas of influence, especially with youth and at-risk populations by promoting livelihoods training and cash-for-work activities.


USAID/OTI implements small-scale, cross-sectoral projects with local partners, including civil society organizations, local governments, and community members. Activities include:

  • Supporting community reintegration efforts of repentant and rehabilitated low-level former Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa fighters and affiliates. In Diffa, USAID/OTI supported information awareness campaigns about reintegration that reached approximately 27,700 people in 190 villages across the region. As a result, three out of four people support reintegration in these communities.
  • Increasing local leaders’ effectiveness to respond to VEO threats. NCCI supports local authorities in establishing village-level peace committees across the Tillabéri region. To date, NCCI has trained more than 1,000 leaders, establishing nearly 300 committees with more than 125 underway. These committees, which include women and youth leaders, promote messages of peace and help mitigate VEO threats at the community level.
Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: October 10, 2019

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