NIAMEY, February 28, 2017—The World Bank approved today a $50 million IDA grant for Niger. “This grant supports reforms in public investment and public finance management, and the operationalization of the regulatory frameworks necessary for well-functioning public irrigation and electricity sectors, which are at the heart of Niger’s development. The grant will contribute to reducing economic vulnerability among producers benefiting from investment in irrigation and lay the foundation for greater access of the urban and rural populations to electricity,” said Siaka Bakayoko, World Bank Country Manager in Niger.
Niger’s public finance management systems have improved over the past years but remain weak, which undermines public service delivery. More effective public investment management will help use efficiently public resources, particularly in a context of fiscal consolidation.
The grant will finance the second Public Investment Reform Support Credit (PIRSC 2). The PIRSC series is designed to support and address challenges in the implementation of the Nigerien Government’s national poverty reduction strategy, the Economic and Social Development Plan (Plan de Développement Economique et Social – PDES).
As part of the PDES objectives, the development of irrigation through the 3N (Nigeriens Nourish Nigeriens) strategy aims to reduce the risks of volatility related to rain-fed agriculture. Similarly, the development of the electricity sector has significant poverty reduction and growth dividends in a country where less than 10 percent of the population has access to electricity. Increasing the efficiency of public spending and ensuring high return of public investment is therefore key, and requires undertaking a vast public finance management and public investment management reform agenda.
The PIRSC series also supports Niger Country Partnership Strategy, endorsed by the Board on April 30, 2013, as well as the World Bank’s Africa Strategy.