Overview

  • Country Overview

    Niger is a vast, landlocked country covering over one million square kilometers. With an estimated population in 2017 of 21.5 million, Niger has one of the highest population growth rates in the world (3.9% annually). It is prone to political instability, chronic food insecurity, and recurrent natural crises (droughts, floods, and locust infestations), and is heavily reliant on uranium exports.

    Political Context

    The president, Mahamadou Issoufou, won the most recent presidential and legislative elections in March 2016.

    Despite a stable political climate in 2017, the security situation in the Diffa regions has been volatile since the arrival of Boko Haram. Niger has also been plagued by jihadist attacks and drug trafficking in the Tillabéry and North Tahoua regions.

    The Government has therefore extended the state of emergency in these regions, scaled up defense and security forces, and launched a new military operation.

    In July 2017 in Bamako, the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger) launched a 5,000-strong joint force, which will patrol with French troops from Operation Barkhane and MINUSMA to combat terrorism in the region. This operation, which is estimated to cost €423 million, will be partly financed by these five States with financial assistance from the European Union. Support has also been requested from European bilateral partners and the United States.  

    France has committed to providing €200 million in aid through AFD over the next five years to combat poverty in the Sahel countries.

    Economic Overview

    GDP growth is projected to be 4.5% in 2017. Security threats at the borders with Mali, Libya, and Nigeria and persistently low commodity prices expose Niger to serious macroeconomic risks.

    Despite showing a moderate risk of debt distress in 2014, Niger must continue to closely monitor its debt sustainability, owing to the rapid increase in external public debt from 27% to 35% of GDP between 2014 and 2016. This ratio is expected to climb to 37% in 2018, before declining as investment projects in the extractive industries are completed. The overall fiscal deficit improved and is forecast to be 7.5% in 2016.

    Medium-term Outlook

    The security crisis and low commodity prices are weakening Niger’s public finances. Preliminary estimates suggest that increased spending on security and the hosting of refugees as part of the military operation against Boko Haram at Niger’s southeast border could cost 1% of GDP on an annual basis, and reduce available resources to finance economic development investments.

    In addition, increased dependence on extractive revenues could indeed make the budget more vulnerable to changes in commodity prices and production.

    With a view to more effectively managing these risks, the World Bank Group will support the implementation of stabilization mechanisms and improved public investment management under the new development policy operation (DPO) series.

    Social Context

    With a poverty rate of 44.1% and a per capita income of $420, Niger is one of the world’s poorest nations. In 2016, it ranked second to last (187th out of 188 countries) on the United Nations Human Development Index. 

    Niger is currently hosting over 300,000 refugees and displaced persons fleeing the crises rocking neighboring countries (Nigeria, Mali, and Libya). Refugee camps are concentrated in the southeastern region of Diffa and the northern and northwestern regions of Tahoua and Tillaberi, where a major humanitarian crisis is playing out. The Government of Niger has implemented a $40 million emergency plan and requested assistance from development partners to cope with immediate humanitarian needs.

    The World Bank Group is finalizing an operation aimed at mitigating the impact of this humanitarian crisis, using uncommitted resources from its project portfolio with Niger.

    Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017

  • Alex van Trotsenburg, World Bank Vice President of Development Finance, and Seydou Bouda, World Bank Executive Director representing Niger, traveled to Niger in June 2017 to announce the provision of $1.2 billion to Niger under IDA18.

    Niger is in the process of finalizing its economic and social development plan (PDES) for the 2017-2021 period. A roundtable organized and financed by the World Bank Group is slated for February 2018 in Paris to discuss financing for this plan. 

    The World Bank is preparing a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for the 2018-2021 period, which seeks to address the key challenges identified in the Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) of the economic and social situation in Niger. This partnership framework will focus on three areas: strengthening governance, developing human capital and social protection, and boosting rural productivity and incomes.

    In 2018, Niger will also benefit from two special windows of the International Development Association (IDA): a special window for refugees and a private sector window, with a view to scaling up private sector investments with support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

    Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017

  • As of June 2017, the Niger portfolio comprised 18 projects amounting to $1.5 billion. Commitment allocations for each sector are as follows: agriculture and environment (25%); infrastructure (17%); water, sanitation, and flood protection (18%); health, education and social protection (26%); energy (7%), and support for the private sector (4%) and public services (3%).

    Niger is also benefiting from five regional operations: the West African Agricultural Productivity Program, the Niger Basin Water Resources Development and Sustainable Ecosystems Management Project, the Regional Sahel Pastoralism Support Project, the Sahel Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project, and the Sahel Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Project.

    These five operations total $439 million.

    Agriculture and Climate Resilience

    Three IDA projects facilitated a rapid response to the August 2014 livestock crisis. In the third phase of the Community Action Program:

    • 1,394 metric tons of fodder were delivered in 29 districts, for a total of CFAF 461 million, through subprojects submitted by the affected rural districts; and
    • Storage facilities were built in these districts.

    Under the Community Action Project for Climate Resilience:

    • 1,076 metric tons of fodder were delivered to 5,380 beneficiaries in 11 affected districts; and
    • A cash transfer program was launched in August 2014 to support farmers who had lost livestock. A total of CFAF 106 million was distributed to 1,320 households in the 11 districts (CFAF 80,000 per family).

    Under the Niger Agro-Pastoral Export and Market Development Project:

    • More than 3,824 subprojects in the onion, cowpea, leather, and hides production chains have been financed for a total of $16 million;
    • Agricultural commodity chains were structured, resulting in the establishment of 62 regional agricultural colleges with over 2,000 actors;
    • 13 subprojects were developed to protect onion production sites and secure more than 1,340 hectares of crops; and
    • 14 groundwater recharge thresholds were reached, securing 2,228 hectares of farmland.

    Social Safety Nets

    The Niger Safety Net Project provides cash transfers to the poorest and to food insecure people through cash for work programs benefiting the community. This project has yielded myriad results, including the following:

    • In the five targeted regions (Dosso, Maradi, Tahoua, Tillabéry, and Zinder), 42,949 persons received cash transfer payments totaling $6.7 million;
    • 502 community groups in the targeted areas were established and registered, 82 of which launched income-generating activities; and
    • 26,777 beneficiaries of the cash for work program received payments totaling $3.6 million to start up microprojects.

    Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017

  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) is responsible for overall donor coordination through the Development Assistance Group (DAG). The DAG, which is co-chaired by the World Bank Group and UNDP, meets on a monthly basis. The State-Donor Consultative Committee under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office meets up to four times a year, depending on the emergency.

    Last Updated: Dec 05, 2017

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LENDING

Niger: Commitments by Fiscal Year (in millions of dollars)*

*Amounts include IBRD and IDA commitments


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Additional Resources

Country Office Contacts

Main Office Contact
187, Rue des Dallols
B.P: 12402 Niamey
Niamey, Niger
For general information and inquiries
Habibatou Gologo
Communications Officer
hgologo@worldbank.org
For project-related issues and complaints
nigeralert@worldbank.org
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