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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More