Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, today announced a financial support package for Niger worth EUR 609.9 million in 2016 in the presence of Mahamadou Issoufou, President of Niger, Aïchatou Boulama Kané, Minister of Planning, and Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission (HRVP). Mr Mimica also announced that the EU had approved the release of EUR 107.5 million in budget support earmarked for Niger in 2016.
These measures were announced and signed during the President of Niger's visit to Brussels, in the margins of the European Council meeting of 15 December, following a series of high-level EU visits to Niger in 2016.
Mr Mimica made the following statement: ‘This package of over EUR 600 million for Niger demonstrates the EU's confidence in and commitment to working with the Government of Niger to support its efforts to implement reforms and ensure sustainable development for its people.' »
The support package will primarily to support the reform and state-building efforts of the Government of Niger, with EUR 470 million earmarked for that purpose. The financing is in line with the Government's priorities set out in ‘the Economic and Social Development Plan (ESDP)', namely to support areas as diverse and essential as education, nutrition, food security and resilience, sustainable agriculture, infrastructure, state-building, democratic governance and the promotion of the rule of law.
The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa also approved nine support projects for Niger this year, worth a total of EUR 139.9 million. Niger is currently one of the major beneficiaries of the Trust Fund. The projects are fully consistent with the commitments made by the EU and Niger under the Valletta Action Plan, and
aim to combat human trafficking, improve border controls and fight the root causes of migration by offering economic alternatives to systems that currently depend on irregular migration. The Trust Fund will help to ensure protection and assisted return for migrants, support capacity building for local authorities and communities, and improve the resilience of people living in the Lake Chad Basin region.
Again in the context of the Trust Fund, the Commissioner and the Nigerien Minister of Planning also signed a financial commitment worth EUR 30 million for ‘Support for Justice, Security and Border Management in Niger' (AJUSEN).
Mr Mimica also announced that the European Commission had approved the release of EUR 107.5 million in budget support for Niger for 2016.
The Nigerien President's visit to Brussels was also an opportunity for Mr Mimica to announce the EU's plan to help finance the construction of a hybrid power plant in Agadez, explaining that an EU-funded feasibility study was under way.
The European Union and Niger collaborate mainly on security, migration and development matters. Niger is facing a variety of challenges in terms of population change, security, migration, the environment, humanitarian issues and development. Here, the EU provides significant assistance to the country, particularly in the form of budget support.
The financial allocation for Niger under the 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020) is EUR 596 million. There will be four focal sectors: food and nutrition security and resilience (EUR 180 million); strengthening the State's capacity to implement social policies (EUR 200 million); security, governance and peace-building (EUR 100 million) and, finally, road access to areas affected by insecurity and conflict (EUR 90 million). The financial support announced (EUR 470 million) is the 2016 commitment of Niger's allocation under the 11th EDF.
Niger is also receiving Trust Fund financing of EUR 139.9 million (EU contribution) in 2016.