Niger is an emerging democracy landlocked in the increasingly unstable Sahel region. It consistently ranks at or near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index. USAID assists the Nigerien government and local partners to create economic opportunities and increase civic and political participation for Nigerien youth to help undermine extremist messages and encourage stability in Niger and the region.
Following repeated large-scale humanitarian emergencies in the Sahel, USAID recognized that treating recurrent crises as acute emergencies is extremely costly and does not effectively address their underlying causes. In response, USAID’s Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) Initiative realigned existing and new humanitarian and development assistance efforts to strengthen resilience in agro-pastoral and marginal agriculture livelihood zones of the Sahel.
The RISE Initiative, led by USAID/Senegal’s Sahel Regional Office, takes a multi-sector approach to reducing food insecurity and malnutrition in rural households through activities focused on health, nutrition, water, and sanitation. USAID’s Office of Food for Peace carries out activities in Niger under the RISE Initiative to promote food security, including programs that increase the availability of and access to nutritious food and potable water. Global Health activities in Niger work to provide access to improved sanitation and transform the behaviors of vulnerable populations related to water, sanitation, and hygiene. USAID also supports the Ministry of Health to eradicate neglected tropical diseases and reinforce the surveillance system of these diseases.
Conflict in Niger’s western states resulted in more than 70,000 internally displaced persons (as of April 2019), all facing urgent humanitarian needs. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance is providing access to food, health care, protection services, shelter and emergency relief supplies, and water and sanitation.