UN funds $16 million rural investment scheme for Niger villages

15 January 2009 – Rural communities in the south-central Maradi region of Niger are set to receive a major financial boost from the United Nations, enabling local communes to make their own agricultural investment decisions.

The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced today that it plans to provide $16 million, an $8 million loan and the other half a grant, to support the second phase of a rural rehabilitation and development project.

The project will establish local funds to finance the collective investments of 56 rural communes and empower them to decide on their particular agricultural priorities in-line with the Government’s push for greater decentralisation.

Targeting poor communities that are also vulnerable to environmental risk, the project aims to encourage communities to be more actively involved in creating policies to improve their livelihoods and decrease hunger.

The financing agreement was signed in Rome by Mireille Fatouma Ausseil, Niger’s Ambassador to Italy and Lennart Båge, President of IFAD.

The project, which also seeks to reduce or reverse land degradation by promoting sustainable land management, is among nine programmes financed by IFAD to date for a total outlay of around $111 million.


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