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Development cooperation relations between Niger and Luxembourg date back to 1989 and have been consolidated over the years: Niger became a Luxembourg Development Cooperation priority partner country in 1996 and the two countries signed a general cooperation agreement in 1999.

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This was replaced by a second agreement in 2002 that made provision for a partnership committee to meet annually. This is a forum dedicated to dialogue between the two countries, which also facilitates the examination of the state of play in development cooperation interventions. Since then, Luxembourg’s official development assistance (ODA) has steadily increased: from EUR 2.2 million in 1999 to EUR 36 million in 2022. Luxembourg’s ODA includes bilateral and multilateral cooperation programmes, support to NGOs and humanitarian action.

The year 2022 saw the start of the programmes in the fourth Indicative Cooperation Programme (ICP IV), signed in May 2021 during the visit by Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger, to Luxembourg. The ICP IV covers the 2022–2026 period, with an initial indicative financial envelope of EUR 144.5 million (which has already increased to more than EUR 150 million since it was signed). It identifies three priority areas of intervention: the provision of and inclusive access to basic social services such as water, sanitation, habitat, and food and nutrition security; the capacity strengthening of Nigeriens through support for education, technical and vocational training, adolescent empowerment and socio-economic integration; and strengthening governance, particularly by providing support to the capacities of public authorities to enable them to provide the basic social services, public finance management and inclusive finance that are needed.

As part of the launch of the new ICP IV programmes, Minister Fayot paid a working visit to Niger from 8 to 9 February 2022, where he met Hassoumi Massoudou, Minister of State and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, and Dr Ahmat Jidoud, Niger’s Minister for Finance. Ministers Fayot and Massoudou signed the first programme in the ICP IV, the “Project to support the development of financial and sustainable inclusion in Niger”, implemented by ADA Microfinance, a Luxembourgish NGO specialising in microfinance, in collaboration with LuxDev. This is the largest programme in the field of inclusive finance in a Luxembourg Development Cooperation partner country, with a funding envelope of EUR 15 million. During the visit, Minister Fayot was also received by Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger, and Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, Prime Minister of Niger.

At the 14th partnership committee meeting with Niger, held on 11 July 2022, Ministers Fayot and Massoudou signed the following four bilateral programmes, implemented by LuxDev: the “Water and Sanitation Programme”, the “Education Sector Common Fund Support Programme”, the “Programme to support public financial management” and the “Programme to support the development of employment and employability of young people and women in the regions of Dosso, Niamey and Zinder”. In order to mitigate random shocks to food production and to help prevent food and nutritional insecurity, in October 2022 Luxembourg formalised its financial support for the “National Food Crises Prevention and Management Mechanism (DNPGCA)”, a multi-donor mechanism created by the Prime Minister and operating under his authority, to support Niger’s government in tackling the recurrent food crises in the country. For the period of the current ICP (2022-2026), the Luxembourg Development Cooperation will contribute EUR 6 million.

Following the invitation by Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger, Prime Minister Bettel and Minister Fayot paid an official visit to the Republic of Niger on 5 and 6 June 2022. In Niamey, Xavier Bettel and Franz Fayot were officially received by Mohamed Bazoum. Accompanied by Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou, Prime Minister of Niger, the ministers went to Ouallam to visit a centre hosting a total of 1 950 displaced, returned, refugee and host households. The project has been set up and is supported by the international assistance of the Luxembourg Red Cross, the Niger Red Cross and the Danish Red Cross and aims to improve the humanitarian housing conditions of the most vulnerable populations affected by armed conflicts and natural disasters, in particular by providing shelter, latrines and hygiene kits. Xavier Bettel and Franz Fayot also travelled to the village of Simiri to visit a drinking water distribution system. That project was implemented by Niger’s Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation through the joint financing mechanism, an innovative financial instrument set up under the leadership of Luxembourg, which was the lead partner in the water and sanitation sector in Niger from 2016 to 2022. This mechanism has, among other things, enabled the installation of solar panels as an energy source as well as the installation of a more powerful pump in order to increase production and access to drinking water in the municipality.

Within the framework of ICP IV, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation supports two multilateral programmes in Niger. Overseen by the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and the Protection of Children, the programme to “strengthen the rights and health of adolescents aged 10 to 15 and empower girls in Niger” (“Illimin” project), with a budget of EUR 7 million, is implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) (2022–2026). To date, the Illimin initiative has gone through six consecutive cycles and has made it possible to set up 1 580 safe spaces in rural and urban communities in all regions of Niger and to reach nearly 152 000 adolescent beneficiaries. In addition, since December 2022 Luxembourg has been supporting the project “Breaking barriers to girls’ education in Niger”, implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP), which is part of the joint initiative “Breaking Barriers to Girls’ Education”, implemented by the WFP, UNFPA and UNICEF. With a budget of EUR 5 million and covering the 2022-2025 period, the project aims to overcome obstacles to girls’ education through an expanded school feeding programme that includes multisectoral actions to promote girls’ education.

Currently, seven Luxembourgish development NGOs are running activities in Niger in the agricultural sectors (agricultural development, agricultural production, agricultural financial services), administrative management policy, training of health personnel, sanitation, basic nutrition, health education, multisectoral assistance for basic social services, financial intermediaries in the formal and informal sectors, education, school facilities and vocational training. They are also carrying out regional projects in the field of agricultural cooperatives, social services and disaster prevention and preparedness. In January 2022, the total multiannual budget from the MFA for the framework agreements with these NGOs stood at EUR 9 612 759 for the 2018-2026 period. The MFA co-financing rate is 80%.

The country is facing a complex humanitarian emergency where continued violence and insecurity have been compounded by endemic poverty, demographic pressure and climate shocks. Armed conflicts in neighbouring Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria continue to aggravate instability and displacement in border areas, and significant contagion effects are being felt in the border regions of Niger. In view of the growing humanitarian needs in Niger, financial support for humanitarian operations has increased considerably in recent years, reaching EUR 8 728 913 in 2022 (compared to EUR 2 300 000 in 2018), EUR 2 600 000 in 2019, EUR 4 021 390 in 2020 and EUR 4 448 930 in 2021). Humanitarian assistance in Niger is mainly implemented through assistance to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), as well as humanitarian NGOs. The strategic partnership frameworks (SPFs) signed for the 2022-2025 period with the ICRC, WFP and UNHCR reflect the need to provide more and longer-term support to our humanitarian partners in Niger. A multiannual management project was launched in 2021 together with the Luxembourg Red Cross, which will allow a Red Cross logistics centre to be set up in Niamey.

Development of PDA

In response to the international food and nutrition crisis, Luxembourg will support Niger through assistance to the National Food Crises Prevention and Management Mechanism (DNPGCA), in order to support Niger’s government in tackling the recurrent food crises in the country. The Luxembourg Development Cooperation has granted an additional contribution from Luxembourg to the DNPGCA of EUR 3 million, to contribute to the DNPGCA’s “Support plan for vulnerable populations 2022”, and more specifically to provide food and non-food items to flood victims and for recovery actions in the form of cash for work and restocking livestock holdings. In addition to financial support, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation will also provide, through LuxDev, structural support enabling the DNPGCA common fund to improve accounting, financial and administrative management and to improve alignment with the WAMEU reforms in public finance management.

Reference data

  • Population (MIO): 25,25
  • GNI (per resident): 1.330
  • Human Development Index (HDI): 189/191
  • Life expectancy: 62

Sector breakdown