Luxembourg's development cooperation in Niger

Development cooperation relations between the Republic of Niger and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg date from 1989. The strengthening of these relations led to the signing of an initial cooperation framework agreement on 12 July 1995, followed by a second providing, among other things, for the annual meeting of a Partnership Commission. 

The cooperation between Niger and Luxembourg is regulated by multi-annual Indicative Cooperation Programmes (ICP). ICP II initially covered the period 2008 – 2012, but was extended to cover the period 2013 - 2015. The indicative budget was 70 million euros (initially 60 million, 10 million having been added for the extension). The objectives of the 2008 - 2015 ICP were assistance with implementing the 3N initiative (Les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens - Nigeriens Feed Nigeriens) in the regions of Dosso, Maradi and Diffa, assistance - at the national level - with implementing the Sectoral Policy and Priority Action Plan in the Vocational and Technical Training sub-sector at the national level, assistance with implementing the Ten-Year Education Development Plan in Dosso Region, and assistance with implementing the National Health Development Plan in Maradi Region. Following the withdrawal of the Danish development cooperation from Niger, support for the "water and sanitation" sector in Diffa Region was added to this, management of which Luxembourg took over from the Danes upon request from the Nigerien side..

ICP III 2016 – 2020 was signed on 26 September 2015 in the margins of the GA of the UN in New York. This ICP's overall goal is to contribute to capacity-building with the aim of accelerating inclusive growth, social development, and the sustainable management of natural resources in a context of good governance and security, in accordance with the priorities of the future five-year plan and the long-term development strategy currently being developed in Niger.

ICP III strives to continue and consolidate the gains in light of the progress and relevance of the programmes being implemented as part of ICP II. Following the inclusive strategic dialogue between Luxembourg and Niger aimed at identifying the sectors and directions to be adopted, and taking on board the activities planned by Niger's other technical and financial partners, and consistent with the work-sharing logic and future joint programming initiative of the EU member states present in Niger, it was agreed to adopt the following focus sectors under ICP 2016 – 2020 :

  • basic education and vocational and technical training (including for young people in rural areas who are the biggest pool of unemployed young people of both sexes with the potential to be both an opportunity and a time bomb for the country. It is these same young people one has to think of in the context of migrations);
  • rural development;
  • water and sanitation, sector that has been taken over from the Danish development cooperation.

Niger has enormous needs but limited capabilities and developing these will be a long, slow and difficult process. Absorption capacity remains low whereas needs remain huge, with no fall in poverty levels. This is the typical situation of a country in the "least developed countries" category, and which is at the bottom of the league (187th) of the Human Development Index.

Based on this observation, ICP III was allocated an indicative budget of 67 million euros for the duration of the programme (2016 - 2020), 13 million of this budget is unspent from the previous ICP and has been carried over, The input of "fresh money" was therefore 54 million initially. In June 2017 the indicative budget of ICP III was raised with an additional 17 million euros thereby bringing the overall indicative budget to 84 million euros. This budget makes it possible to finance jointly decided activities in pursuit of the priorities of the post-2015 development agenda and, in particular, the Sustainable Development and Inclusive Growth Strategy (SDDCI - Niger 2035) and PDES (Economic and Social Development Plan) 2016-2020.

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