The objectives of the new country programme for the period 2009–2013, which will cover 1,251,000 beneficiaries, are to:
- increase access to basic education, especially for girls;
- strengthen the prevention and mitigation of food insecurity during lean periods; and
- contribute to improving the health and nutritional status of patients living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
The programme supports WFP’s Strategic Objectives 2, 3, and 4 of the Strategic Plan 2006–2008, and is in line with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework for 2009–2013 and Niger’s 2008–2012 Accelerated Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy.
The country programme also contributes to the first six Millennium Development Goals. WFP’s Enhanced Commitments to Women (II, III and V) and its Gender Policy 2003–2007 have also been taken into account.
Educational and rural development activities will focus on those rural areas of Niger that are structurally vulnerable to food insecurity; the school feeding activities will also take into account low school enrolment rates. Health activities will be limited to the urban centres of Niamey, Zinder, Maradi and Tahoua.
The main problems addressed by the country programme reflect Niger’s long-term challenges including preventing and managing crises and natural disasters and improving social services together with social safety nets. WFP will continue to promote capacity-building and to support the Government’s development efforts so that it can gradually take over a number of activities.
Niger has a population of approximately 13 million inhabitants and was ranked 174 out of 177 countries by UNDP’s Human Development Index in 2008.
Some 59.5 percent of the population is living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the engine of Niger’s weak economy, with 82 percent of the population relying on farming....