Switzerland supports development efforts in Niger by investing in rural development, education, vocational skills development and local governance. These actions are aimed at improving the living conditions of local communities, encouraging them to play a part in their own development.

Map of Niger

Niger faces food insecurity on a regular basis due to economic and structural problems. Since the 1970s the country has experienced seven major food crises. Approximately 80% of the population live in rural areas with more than 45% living below the poverty line. In line with Niger’s development strategies, the SDC is active in three main fields:

  • Rural development
  • Education and vocational skills development
  • Local governance, decentralisation and citizen participation

SDC operations are focused primarily on Dosso and Maradi in southern Niger, but they also extend into Zinder and Diffa.

Rural development and food security

Empowering producers

Food security is a major challenge in Niger, requiring a collective, concerted response. The SDC works with farmers and stockbreeders to improve production methods, for example, by constructing water infrastructure, establishing grazing corridors and supplying seed and fertiliser. It also helps farmers to market their products. With the backing of farmers' organisations, producers are involved in developing and implementing rules governing farming and grazing rights, which provide greater land tenure security and fairer access to resources. Producers’ associations also conduct capacity building, helping their members defend their interests and promoting conditions conducive to rural development and food security. The SDC also supports the national system of prevention and management of disasters and food crises.

Agriculture and food security

Basic education and vocational skills development

Creating opportunities for the future

Although access to education in Niger is improving, the quality of education is often poor. In bolstering the education system, the SDC promotes effective schools. Curricula include local knowledge and national languages, helping young people build the skills they need to become responsible citizens.

Training young people for skilled employment

Vocational skills development is key to the development of rural economies, providing employment prospects for young people and marginalised groups. In this context, the SDC supports initial teacher training and continuing professional development for teachers.

Basic education and vocational training

Local governance and citizen participation

Creating local development hubs

Despite the succession of coups and rebellions since the 1990s, democracy is gaining ground.  The SDC supports decentralisation and local governance. It assists regions and municipalities in improving basic services and promoting local governance that brings together public and private sector stakeholders.

Greater citizen participation

The SDC assists in strengthening the electoral system, independent media and citizen participation, including the participation of women and young people in the governance of the country. 

State and Economic Reforms

Humanitarian aid

Conflict and food crises

Swiss Humanitarian Aid helps multilateral partners, including the ICRC, World Food Programme and NGOs, provide assistance to victims of conflict, such as groups affected by Boko Haram, and communities facing food crises.  

History of cooperation

Working towards development by local people

The SDC opened an office in Niamey in 1977 and signed a cooperation agreement the following year. In line with government priorities, cooperation focused from the outset on securing drinking water supplies, training and research, rural development and combating desertification. Communities have, over time, become agents of their own development, reaching a consensus about their needs and the best way of responding to them. The SDC provides support in the form of funding and technical expertise.

Current projects

Object 13 – 16 of 16

Intervention en santé mentale et soutien psychosocial pour les migrants au Niger

15.08.2017 - 28.02.2019

2016 environ 200,000 migrants sont passés par le Niger sur l’axe Niger-Lybie/Algérie. Ces migrants sont souvent exposés à des violations graves des droits de l’homme et des traumas. Seule une petite proportion des migrants bénéficie d’une forme d’assistance couvrant les besoins essentiels (santé, abri, nourriture). Une réponse aux traumatismes subis est quasi inexistante. Par ce co-financement, la Suisse contribue donc au renforcement d’une réponse santé mentale/psychosociale ainsi que d’autres services de protection pour les migrants au Niger pour préserver leur bien-être et le potentiel de développement humain.

Better training to facilitate the integration of youngsters in rural areas into the labour market

Three young Nigerien men walking through a plantation.

01.01.2017 - 30.06.2022

The SDC is committed to improving the education and vocational training system in Niger. Over 1.5 million young people living in rural areas currently have no access to education or vocational training. Their future ability to enter the labour market depends on good-quality basic education and vocational training tailored to their needs.

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Dosso and Maradi

Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Primary education

01.01.2017 - 30.06.2022

CHF  14’796’530

Programme d’Hydraulique Rurale – Appui Au Secteur Eau et Assainissement (PHRASEA) Phase 2

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2022

Moins de 50% des nigériens ont accès à l’eau potable et seuls 7% disposent de conditions d'assainissement de base. La croissance démographique galopante, la dispersion de la population sur le territoire et la précarité des finances publiques sont des contraintes empêchant l'accès des populations à ces services de base. Le PHRASEA vient en appui aux efforts du gouvernement, en misant sur la maitrise d’ouvrage des communes.

Allocation of SDC Funding to WFP Operations in 2017

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2017

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to WFP operations allows the World Food Programme (WFP) to respond proactively and to provide immediate food assistance in life-threatening situations.

Object 13 – 16 of 16