Niger

Niger Map OTI

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


WHY USAID/OTI IS IN NIGER

Straddling both the Sahel-Maghreb and Lake Chad Basin regions, 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 in the international fight against terrorism, trafficking, and illegal migration as part of the Sahel Maghreb Strategy and the Counter Boko Haram/Islamic State West Africa strategy. Violent extremist (VE) activity has grown significantly in Niger in recent years. Military operations against violent extremist organizations (VEOs) in Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria, and Libya have pushed VEOs toward Niger, where hiding spaces, new recruits, and economic exploitation are readily available.

USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN NIGER

USAID/OTI’s Niger program began in 2014 and 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, in particular 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. 

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

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 and reconciliation processes of repentant and rehabilitated low-level former Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa fighters and affiliates. In Diffa, USAID/OTI has supported 12 information awareness campaigns about reintegration that have reached approximately 27,700 people in 190 villages.  Between February and November 2018, support for reintegration has risen from 47 percent to 76 percent. 
  • Providing 200 youth with a temporary employment opportunity, aiming to deter at-risk youths from turning to VEOs by improving their economic outlook and increasing their awareness of the risks of violent extremism in Méhana, Téra Department.
Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: June 18, 2019

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