News / Africa

World Bank Restores Aid to Niger Following February Coup

People lining up for food distribution in Zinder, Niger
People lining up for food distribution in Zinder, Niger

The World Bank is restoring financial assistance to Niger that was suspended following a February coup. The military government says the aid will help fight hunger in a country where 60 percent of people are facing severe food shortages.

In a letter to military ruler Major Salou Djibo, World Bank regional director Madani Tall said the resumption of $40 million in budgetary assistance comes with it the expectation that the social, economic, and political situation in Niger will be explained to give the national and international community a better understanding of the way forward.

Thusands of people march in Niamey to back Niger's President Mamadou Tandja, who has obtained an extension of his mandate in defiance of his foes and by flouting the international community, 15 Dec. 2009
Thusands of people march in Niamey to back Niger's President Mamadou Tandja, who has obtained an extension of his mandate in defiance of his foes and by flouting the international community, 15 Dec. 2009

Soldiers took power in a February coup against President Mamadou Tandja, who had grown increasing unpopular since using a constitutional referendum to extend his time in office and sacking both lawmakers and judges who opposed him.

The military government has since vowed to restore Niger to civilian rule within one year.

Government spokesman Mahaman Laouali Dandah welcomed the resumption of World Bank assistance.

Dandah told VOA that the World Bank has always been there for Niger to help in the fight against poverty and the creation of sustainable socio-economic development.

Dandah says it is a decision that everyone in Niger appreciates, and it underlines the efforts of the ruling military council and the government to resolve political differences and restore Niger's place in the international community.

He says the resumption of World Bank assistance will help more than seven million people who need food assistance because of last year's poor rains.

Dandah says it is clear that food security is not forgotten as the World Bank provides assistance across many sectors including the exportation of food and livestock products, the promotion of private sector irrigation and the financial sector. This supports the fight against food insecurity.

This crisis affects more people than the last food shortages in 2005, but UN aid chief John Holmes says the country is better prepared, in part because of better cooperation.

Prime Minister Mahamadou Danda told foreign donors that the government is supplying cereal to the general public at lower costs while supporting free, targeted feeding programs for vulnerable groups.

Prime Minister Danda says these ongoing programs will help Niger fight food insecurity and establish mutual trust among the people to avoid the misunderstandings that were registered during the food crisis of 2005.

Then-president Tandja was hosting a meeting of the Francophone in December of 2005 and played down the severity of the hunger that year.

Prime Minister Danda says Niger needs so badly today the assistance of everyone to face this crisis. He says he hopes he can rely on international donors to allow the government, within a transparent framework, to get more assistance for people and livestock.

World Food Program director for Niger Richard Verbeeck says the change of government has vastly improved the international community's ability to respond to the crisis.  

"In the beginning when we prepared ourselves in response to the crisis, there were some words or some facts that were unsaid," Verbeeck said. "With the new government, I must say that I see a complete different attitude. More open. More eager to advice. More eager to work together. And if makes a difference, that's for sure."

Niger's military government is continuing to push for the resumption of more international assistance. It is sending a delegation to Brussels next week to ask the European Union to renew $450 million of development assistance that was frozen during President Tandja's rule.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid