Country profile HDI (UNDP): http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/NER
The New Cooperation Program Agreement 2017-2020
The new cooperation program aligns itself with the key strategic priorities identified for Niger. It is guided by the will to contribute more and better to the implementation of the “Programme de Development Economique et Social” (PDES) developed by the Nigerian government in the wider context of a long term sustainable development strategy for up to 2035 named: “Stratégie pour un Développement Durable et une Croissance Inclusive” (SDDCI). Belgian priorities in matters of foreign aid such as: the rule of law, structural assistance to a sustainable and inclusive growth, strengthening of civil society and integration of a digital agenda are also at the heart of this bilateral agreement.
Cooperation between the two countries will be structured around 10 themes agreed upon as crucial to solve the fragility of Niger. These include good governance, respect of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (i), the flexibility of aid provided to the country (ii), a symbiotic partnership between the actors (iii), strengthening of capacity-building (iv), a stronger implication for civil society (v), a non-intrusive presence (vi), a management of aid axed on concrete results and impacts (vii), a multi-dimensional approach (viii), implicating women as key actors of development and peace-building (ix), a sustainable approach to managing the environment and natural resources (x).
Through this framework, the new cooperation program was approved on the 21st of June 2016 for a total sum of 33 million euros covering 2017 to 2020. The majority of it is focused on two specific sectors in which Belgium already is involved and possesses the necessary expertise to guarantee added value:
- Health: The aim is to give more access for fragile populations to basic universal healthcare. 14 million euros are reserved to that effect.
- Agriculture and Food Security: The aim is to strengthen food security and revenue for farmers. This specific component articulates itself around 4 axes: Development of string values for animals (i), secure pastoral resources and a better management of natural resources (ii), Strengthening the resilience of the most fragile populations (iii), Strengthening the management resources for the primary sector (iv). 14 million euros will be dedicated to that effect.
However next to these two sectors, the program also plans to strengthen the capacity building of partner institutions. Grants will be allowed to various programs linked to studies and consultancies. 3 million euros are reserved for that purpose.
Finally, a passive delegated cooperation will be put into place with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in order to support the ILLIMIN program, which has as objective to raise awareness amongst young girls about emancipation and socio-economic autonomy in order to fight against forced marriages and premature pregnancy. 2 million euros are dedicated for that.
The works described above will be centred in three regions: Dosso, Tahoua and Tillabery. Belgium, present for many years now in these regions has developed solid knowledge and expertise on the social, economic, environmental and cultural landscapes on the ground. By prioritising these specific geographical areas, we seek to promote a better synergy between all actors involved.