Niger is an emerging democracy landlocked in the increasingly unstable Sahel region. It consistently ranks at or near the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index.
Despite increased economic growth catalyzed by expanding extractive industries, broad-based development has been hampered by poor infrastructure, extremely low education levels, and multiple concurrent natural disasters. Economic progress is further challenged by the highest fertility rate in the world, which essentially doubles the population every twenty years. These hurdles, coupled with an increasing presence of violence, crime and violent extremism, particularly along the border regions with neighboring Mali, Libya and Nigeria, put Niger at risk of a reversal in positive development gains that have been made throughout the country in recent years.
USAID in Niger is a limited presence office that serves as core advisors for U.S. Government development activities in country. USAID Senegal’s Sahel Regional Office, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and Food for Peace regional offices and the USAID's West Africa Regional Mission in Accra, Ghana share the management responsibility for development and humanitarian programs in Niger.
USAID assists the Nigerien government and local partners to create economic opportunities and increase civic and political participation for Nigerien youth to help undermine extremist messages and encourage stability in Niger and the region.