Press release | Date: 23/06/2021
The Norwegian authorities are entering into an agreement to allocate NOK 100 million in support to be used to provide healthy and nutritious food for the population in Niger. The funding will be channelled through a joint project between Care Norway and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).
‘This agreement will strengthen food security in one of Africa’s most vulnerable countries. Niger is one of our partner countries in the Sahel region, and is facing significant challenges relating to conflict, poverty, exponential population growth and climate change. It is especially important to help steer farming activities in a more climate-resilient direction. I am pleased that we can support the continuation of Care Norway’s constructive project in Niger, and make such good use of the widespread expertise of researchers at NMBU,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.
The grant has been announced in connection with the launch of the Government’s new strategy for the Sahel region, which includes Niger.
‘The first Norwegian Sahel strategy was launched in 2018. We saw that there was a need to intensify Norwegian efforts in the Sahel as a result of the negative security trends in the region and the growing need for international assistance. Unfortunately, the situation in the Sahel has not improved. On the contrary, it continues to develop in a negative direction. International and Norwegian efforts have saved lives and helped to benefit individuals, but there is still a widespread need for assistance,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The project that Care Norway will now be continuing will help to provide better and healthier food for 280.000 people living in areas of low climate resilience. In addition, it is a means of creating new jobs. The project has a duration of five years and a total budget of NOK 100 million.
With funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Care, NMBU and INRAN (l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger) will work together to find ways to enable agriculture in Niger to provide adequate supplies of nutritious food and become more climate-resilient. The aim is to increase the farmers’ capacity to adapt their agriculture practices to climate change and increase income from small-scale farming. The project is intended to reach 40.000 households by 2026.
Entrepreneurship training for women and young people is a key component of the project. The project will use social media, radio and national television actively to ensure that the project becomes widely known throughout in Niger, in addition to those who are directly involved.
Care Norway is the Norwegian civil society organisation with the longest experience in Niger, and has operated its savings and loan associations programme for women for many years.