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In Niger, poverty is worse in rural areas than in urban areas, with stark differences: average urban incomes are double rural incomes.



Social Standing

Niger's situation in education is catastrophic: a primary gross enrollment rate of 27 percent in 1993/94 places Niger among one of the five countries in the world where primary enrollment is below 30 percent. The level of education of the head of household shows a strong correlation with poverty. Not surprisingly, the incidence, depth, and severity of poverty are greater for less educated groups. Seventy percent of households whose head of household is illiterate are poor. This falls to 58 percent when the head of household has attended Koranic school, 56 percent when the head has attended primary school, and 29 when the head has attended secondary school.

Reform Strategy

The most effective component of a poverty reduction strategy in Niger is the implementation of sound economic policies that stimulate labor-intensive and sustainable growth. Such a program is being implemented that aims to guide policy actions to allow the economy to recover from external shocks. A successful adjustment program would move the economy to a higher growth path and improve living standards. [2]

The reforms aim to:

  • Restructure the composition of output,
  • Keep the economy open,
  • Decrease monopolies,
  • Enhance resource mobility,
  • Reduce distortions that affect resource allocation,
  • Increase government effectiveness,
  • Improve public resource use and target the poor,
  • Build human capital and infrastructure, and
  • Enhance rural and urban.

Policy for Reform

Currently, the government's reform aims to achieve real GDP growth of 4.3 percent and a reduction in inflation from 7 to 3 percent. There has been two crucial factors that have been confirmed by the poverty assessment:

  • Growth in agriculture will be the motor of poverty reduction
  • Population growth rate must be reduced.

Foreign Aid

The most important donors of aid in Niger are France, the European Union, the World Bank, the IMF, and UN agencies--UNDP, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, and UNFPA. Other donors include the United States, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, China, Italy, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Iran, Denmark, Canada, and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has a field office that operates within the U.S. Embassy in Niamey. The United States has provided approximately $65 million to Niger's development during FY 2011 (including $15 million in non-emergency P.L. 480 food assistance; $18 million in emergency food programs; and $32 million in agriculture, nutrition, community health, peace and security, election support, and democracy and governance). These development and emergency programs are carried out by more than 20 U.S. implementing partners (private voluntary organizations and contractors); a limited amount of this support is made available to UN agencies such as WFP and UNICEF. Since inauguration of the elected government in April 2011, the United States, with the majority of the donor community, has started to re-engage in several key sectors. Foreign aid represents 8.3% of Niger's GDP and over 40% of government revenues. [3]


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