WASHINGTON, March 31, 2014 –The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a grant for a total of US$40 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help Niger improve civil service capacity and service delivery in the health, education and agriculture sectors.
The project responds to the Government’s appeal for development partners to help strengthen its public sector, and will support key reforms to strengthen the government’s capacity in strategic planning, financial management, procurement, human resource management and monitoring and evaluation. The project will also improve the technical expertise of several line ministries, including in the agriculture, health and education sectors. As the program is results based, it will create incentives, through performance-based rewards and reimbursement of part of eligible expenditures to achieve the results targeted.
“This project sends a strong signal to the people of Niger and to the country’s global development partners about the Government’s commitment to tackle obstacles that hinder the country’s progress towards achieving its development objectives,” said Nestor Coffi, World Bank Country Manager for Niger. Niger ranked last among the 187 countries on UNDP’s 2012 Human Development Index, and has a poverty rate of 48.2%.
If successfully implemented, the Government will be better equipped to implement investment budgets, manage the performance of civil servants in targeted ministries, and deliver better services in the agriculture, health and education sectors as a result of improved technical skills.
“While the reforms will be more readily evident in the ministries identified for the purpose of this project, the general population also stands to benefit from the improved service delivery outcomes triggered by the project,” said Robert Yungu, World Bank Senior Public Sector Specialist and project task team leader.