Niger, a priority country in the framework of the EU Strategy for Security and Development in the Sahel, is facing many challenges, both in terms of development and in terms of security and humanitarian areas. The country is at the bottom of the ranking of the Human Development Index of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), despite progress in terms of economic growth and social development recorded in recent years. The food security situation is structurally fragile, due to poor harvests linked to droughts and recurrent floods and because of precarious conditions in which live large segments of the Nigerian society.
The 2014-2020 National Indicative Programme for Niger defines the axis of the Niger-EU cooperation within the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF).
Following a political and constitutional crisis accompanied by a military coup in February 2010, Niger has restored democracy in an exemplary transition process, resulting in local, legislative and presidential elections in the first half of 2011. The European Union has played a vital role as regards the support and funding of this process. With the restoration of the constitutional order, the EU-Niger Cooperation was resumed in June 2011 after a partial suspension period (under Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement).
The Country Strategy Paper (2008-2013) and the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for Niger specify the areas of cooperation, namely: (1) rural development and food security, (2) Regional integration and (3) Governance. Including the amendments to the signed NIP, Niger has received funding of €508 million during the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), including €178 million in the form of budget support. An additional €90 million (covered by the Envelope B) were also awarded for participation in the management of humanitarian crises (food safety, epidemics) in addition to the annual budgets of the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection of the European Commission (ECHO).