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Sahel Adaptive Social Protection Program




Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, is a large landlocked country located in the heart of the Sahel region, with more than 80% of its land area lying in the Sahara Desert.

More than 10 million people (42.9% of the population) live in extreme poverty (2020). The onset of COVID-19 reversed gains in poverty reduction over the past decade. Adding to this challenge, it has one of the most rapidly growing populations globally, with a fertility rate of 7.6 children per woman. Overall, Niger experience one of the world’s lowest Human Capital Index, at 32 percent.

The country is highly exposed to climatic shocks and vulnerable to climate change, and its economic performance is directly linked to rainfall patterns. Between 1984 and 2010, six of the eight years of negative growth rate were attributed to droughts. Over the years, natural disasters and climate shocks have threatened the lives and livelihoods of the Nigerien people, and food insecurity is an acute and consistent problem.


SASPP Activities

SASPP's current activities are anchored in the Niger Adaptive Safety Net Project 2, which aims to improve the capacity of the Niger adaptive safety nets system to respond to shocks and to provide access for poor and vulnerable people to safety nets and accompanying measures. It provides regular support to around 120,000 impoverished and vulnerable households (including 30,000 affected by COVID-19 shock), most of them also receiving human capital building measures. Around 50,000 households are expected to benefit from productive inclusion measures and around 66,000 from cash-for-work measures.

Niger Adaptive Safety Net Project 2

Project duration: FY19 - ongoing


Note: Prior to this engagement, the Niger Adaptive Safety Net Project provided support, with a financing of $22.5 million from IDA and $8.5 million from the SASPP MDTF (approved in FY16).

In FY22, the SASPP provided support to the Government in strengthening ASP building blocks. This included support to the updating of the National Policy for Social Protection (Politique Nationale de la Protection Sociale), and to the implementation of the Registre Social Unifié (Unified Social Registry, RSU). In addition, support was also provided to the strengthening of the GRM system, modernization of the benefit payment system and the preparation of a pilot program for digital payments in collaboration with the CGAP.

In addition to the direct support to shock-response interventions, the WB supported a drought-response pilot. The pilot is designed to be activated automatically in response to drought using a satellite-based trigger (based on the Water Requirement Satisfaction Index, WRSI). The program was activated for the first time in FY22 and was able to reach drought-affected households three months before the traditional lean season response. The pilot is also used to evaluate different modalities of response (timing and duration).