Niger

Switzerland supports development efforts in Niger by investing in rural development, education, vocational skills development and local governance. These actions are aimed at improving the living conditions of local communities, encouraging them to play a part in their own development.

Map of Niger
© FDFA

Niger faces food insecurity on a regular basis due to economic and structural problems. Since the 1970s the country has experienced seven major food crises. Approximately 80% of the population live in rural areas with more than 45% living below the poverty line. In line with Niger’s development strategies, the SDC is active in three main fields:

  • Rural development
  • Education and vocational skills development
  • Local governance, decentralisation and citizen participation

SDC operations are focused primarily on Dosso and Maradi in southern Niger, but they also extend into Zinder and Diffa.

Rural development and food security

Empowering producers

Food security is a major challenge in Niger, requiring a collective, concerted response. The SDC works with farmers and stockbreeders to improve production methods, for example, by constructing water infrastructure, establishing grazing corridors and supplying seed and fertiliser. It also helps farmers to market their products. With the backing of farmers' organisations, producers are involved in developing and implementing rules governing farming and grazing rights, which provide greater land tenure security and fairer access to resources. Producers’ associations also conduct capacity building, helping their members defend their interests and promoting conditions conducive to rural development and food security. The SDC also supports the national system of prevention and management of disasters and food crises.

Agriculture and food security

Basic education and vocational skills development

Creating opportunities for the future

Although access to education in Niger is improving, the quality of education is often poor. In bolstering the education system, the SDC promotes effective schools. Curricula include local knowledge and national languages, helping young people build the skills they need to become responsible citizens.

Training young people for skilled employment

Vocational skills development is key to the development of rural economies, providing employment prospects for young people and marginalised groups. In this context, the SDC supports initial teacher training and continuing professional development for teachers.

Basic education and vocational training

Local governance and citizen participation

Creating local development hubs

Despite the succession of coups and rebellions since the 1990s, democracy is gaining ground.  The SDC supports decentralisation and local governance. It assists regions and municipalities in improving basic services and promoting local governance that brings together public and private sector stakeholders.

Greater citizen participation

The SDC assists in strengthening the electoral system, independent media and citizen participation, including the participation of women and young people in the governance of the country. 

State and Economic Reforms

Humanitarian aid

Conflict and food crises

Swiss Humanitarian Aid helps multilateral partners, including the ICRC, World Food Programme and NGOs, provide assistance to victims of conflict, such as groups affected by Boko Haram, and communities facing food crises.  

History of cooperation

Working towards development by local people

The SDC opened an office in Niamey in 1977 and signed a cooperation agreement the following year. In line with government priorities, cooperation focused from the outset on securing drinking water supplies, training and research, rural development and combating desertification. Communities have, over time, become agents of their own development, reaching a consensus about their needs and the best way of responding to them. The SDC provides support in the form of funding and technical expertise.

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 42

Better training to facilitate the integration of youngsters in rural areas into the labour market

Three young Nigerien men walking through a plantation.

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021

The SDC is committed to improving the education and vocational training system in Niger. Over 1.5 million young people living in rural areas currently have no access to education or vocational training. Their future ability to enter the labour market depends on good-quality basic education and vocational training tailored to their needs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Niger

Dosso and Maradi

Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Education
Vocational training
Employment creation
Primary education

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2021


CHF 14'500'000



N 70 - formation professionnelle phase 2

Three young Nigerien men walking through a plantation.

30.09.2013 - 30.06.2017

The SDC is committed to improving the education and vocational training system in Niger. Over 1.5 million young people living in rural areas currently have no access to education or vocational training. Their future ability to enter the labour market depends on good-quality basic education and vocational training tailored to their needs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Niger

Dosso and Maradi

Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Education
Vocational training
Employment creation
Basic life skills

30.09.2013 - 30.06.2017


CHF 7'700'000



Well trained teachers for good quality education

French as the official language is the primary language of instruction in schools in Niger.

01.10.2011 - 31.12.2014

Niger has committed itself to reversing the high drop-out rate by making school offers more appealing. An SDC project supports bilingual teaching and contributes to the improvement of teacher training.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Niger
Education
Agriculture & food security
Primary education
Education policy
Secondary education
Agricultural policy

01.10.2011 - 31.12.2014


CHF 6'215'000



Promoting the peaceful coexistence of farmers and pastoralists

Une borne de transhumance au Niger

01.10.2010 - 31.12.2015

Both sedentary farmers and pastoralists in Niger must be self-sufficient and able to earn a steady income. To make this goal a reality, the SDC has been involved in the "Programme d’appui au secteur de l’élévage" (PASEL; livestock farming support programme) since 1998. Together with local partners, it promotes the peaceful coexistence of farmers and pastoralists. In the past, conflicts of interests led to sometimes violent confrontations.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Niger

Regions of Dosso, Maradi and Tillabéry

Agriculture & food security
Agricultural development
Agricultural policy
Rural infrastructure (till 2016)

01.10.2010 - 31.12.2015


CHF 5'701'300



Programme d’appui à la Qualité de l’Education (PAQUE)

01.04.2019 - 31.12.2022

La qualité de l’enseignement et de la formation est préoccupante au Niger et se traduit par des compétences très faibles des élèves. La contribution de la Suisse au Fonds Commun Sectoriel de l’Education et de la Formation, soutenue par un dialogue politique fort et le partage d’innovations promues par la Suisse, appuiera les réformes essentielles pour améliorer la qualité du système. Ceci facilitera les perspectives d’emploi des jeunes et contribuera à prévenir l’extrémisme violent au Niger.


Accès aux populations vulnérables grâce au soutien au Service Aérien Humanitaire des Nations Unies (UNHAS)

01.01.2019 - 30.11.2024

L’UNHAS est le service aérien des Nations Unies qui appuie la mise en œuvre d’interventions humanitaires ainsi que du développement économique et social en faveur des populations les plus vulnérables et marginalisées du Niger. L'UNHAS facilite et sécurise au Niger l'essentiel des déplacements des agents des programmes respectifs, leur permettant de rejoindre les régions reculées du pays et leurs populations rapidement et en toute sécurité.


Allocation of SDC Funding to ICRC Operations in 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to ICRC operations allows the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to respond proactively and to provide immediate protection and assistance for people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.


RAAYI: Appui aux médias du Niger pour une opinion citoyenne

01.11.2018 - 31.10.2023

Au Niger, en dépit de la consécration de la liberté de la presse par la constitution et l’émergence d’un pluralisme médiatique, les médias n’arrivent pas à satisfaire les besoins en information des citoyens, encore moins à répondre aux attentes des jeunes et des femmes. Ce programme améliore l’accès des populations à une information de qualité, leur permettant de participer à la construction de la démocratie et à la stabilité du pays en promouvant une culture de paix.


Planned project

Programme d’Appui à la Gouvernance (PAGO)

01.07.2018 - 31.12.2029

Entamée au début des années 90, la transition démocratique au Niger a connu des avancées remarquables sans pour autant atteindre une maturité propre à construire un état de droit au travers d’une culture démocratique. La Suisse entend soutenir et développer les réformes en cours dans le cadre du dispositif électoral, du renforcement des médias et l’implication citoyenne, notamment au regard de la participation des jeunes à la gouvernance du pays.


Programme d’Appui au Développement Culturel (PADEC)

01.10.2017 - 30.09.2021

Ce programme vise à contribuer à la constitution d’un pool de professionnels de la culture afin d’induire un changement significatif dans la vision et la pratique culturelle, la promotion de la paix civile et la lutte contre la précarité des jeunes. Des emplois dans le métier de la culture et de l’art seront créés et des spectacles artistiques de meilleure qualité seront organisés, et impulseront des changements sociétaux.


Intervention en santé mentale et soutien psychosocial pour les migrants au Niger

15.08.2017 - 28.02.2019

2016 environ 200,000 migrants sont passés par le Niger sur l’axe Niger-Lybie/Algérie. Ces migrants sont souvent exposés à des violations graves des droits de l’homme et des traumas. Seule une petite proportion des migrants bénéficie d’une forme d’assistance couvrant les besoins essentiels (santé, abri, nourriture). Une réponse aux traumatismes subis est quasi inexistante. Par ce co-financement, la Suisse contribue donc au renforcement d’une réponse santé mentale/psychosociale ainsi que d’autres services de protection pour les migrants au Niger pour préserver leur bien-être et le potentiel de développement humain.


Appui aux organisations paysannes (OP) du Niger pour une meilleure sécurité alimentaire et nutritionnelle

01.02.2017 - 31.01.2021

Confrontées aux évolutions climatiques et à la pression croissante sur les ressources naturelles, les exploitations familiales (EF) n’assurent plus la sécurité alimentaire du pays. Le programme appuie les organisations paysannes (OP), principales structures de soutien des EF, afin de moderniser l’agriculture, améliorer les politiques sectorielles et la gouvernance des OP et contribuer à la sécurité alimentaire du Niger. 330'000 personnes bénéficieront de ce programme.

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