No famine in Niger since 2011, thanks to ‘3N’: Niger President at WFP ceremony

  • June 19, 2018

Address by His Excellency Mr. Issoufou Mahamadou, President of the Republic of Niger, Head of State, at the Opening of the Board of Directors of the World Food Program ROME, JUNE 18-22, 2018

‘Mr. President of the Board of Directors of the World Food Program,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of the Board of Directors

Mr. Executive Director of the World Food Program

I would like to thank the Chairman of the Board of the World Food Program, Mr. Zoltan Kalman, and the distinguished members of the Board for the invitation addressed to me, to take part in the present session of the Board. I would also like to thank the Executive Director, Mr David Beaseley, whom I had the honor of recently receiving in Niger. His commendable record as Governor of South Carolina makes him the man we need today to lead our organization.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I launched in 2011, at the beginning of my first mandate, the 3N Initiative “Nigeriens Nourrissent Nigeriens” in Niger, so that now drought is no longer synonymous with famine in Niger. One of the major priorities of the renaissance program, the 3N initiative covers five areas:

The first axis concerns the increase and diversification of agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries productions. This axis foresees the increase of under-irrigation and flood recession crops, the increase and diversification of rain-fed crop production, the securing of long-cycle and short-cycle livestock production systems, sustainable land management and ecosystems, valuing non-timber forest products. The aim here is to control water, to dispose of fertilizers, improved seeds and other inputs, to protect productive capital through defensive actions and restoration of degraded lands.

The second axis relates to the regular supply of agricultural and agri-food products to rural and urban markets. This axis concerns the promotion of processing agro-silvo-pastoral products, fish products, wood and non-wood products, improvement of infrastructure and marketing channels including export, development and implementation of a marketing policy for these products.

The third is improving the resilience of vulnerable groups to climate change and crises and disasters. The aim is to prevent and manage climate change, crises and disasters, to improve the capacity of households and grassroots communities in situations of agricultural or pastoral production deficit through improved efficiency. Anticipating and coordinating emergency response mechanisms and developing a risk plan incorporating various types of risks faced by producers, households and communities.

The improvement of the nutritional status of Nigerians constitutes the fourth axis. This axis provides for the promotion of a balanced food consumption model, a healthy lifestyle, the reduction of the prevalence of various forms of malnutrition, the effective management of acute malnutrition, and the strengthening of the health control system and the national nutritional surveillance system.

The animation, the coordination and the impulse of the reforms constitute the fifth axis.

Thanks to the implementation of the 3N Initiative, there has been no famine in Niger since 2011. Agricultural GDP has grown at an average annual rate of 9% over the 2011-2015 period. Thus, Niger had been able to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular MDGs 1 & 7, and the attainment of targets to reduce by 50% the number of Nigeriens who are food insecure before term (2012), earned the 3N Initiative the testimony of FAO, which awarded it with Achievement Statements, Rome 2013 and 2015, as well as the 3rd Prize for Best Future Policy by the Word Futur Council (WFC) in collaboration with the United Nations Organization to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in 2017, in the category “restoration of degraded lands and fight against poverty”.

As poverty is predominantly rural in Niger (3 out of every 4 poor people live in rural areas), the implementation of the 3 N initiative has helped to reduce the number of Nigerians living below the poverty line from 63% in 2011 to 44%. % in 2016. Our goal for 2021 is to lower this rate to 31% and achieve “zero hunger in Niger”. To this end, investment plans are being implemented with particular emphasis on water control, the farmer’s house providing input to producers and the defense and restoration of land, sectors for which unfortunately, we did not cover all the financing needs.

As a tool for combating poverty, the 3N Initiative is therefore an instrument for combating illegal migration, an instrument for combating terrorism. Indeed the link between these scourges and poverty are known. A true green revolution, the 3N Initiative is also an instrument for combating climate change.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As you will have seen, the axes of the 3N initiative are in line with the SDGs.

The 3N Initiative addresses both emergency solutions and structural solutions, both humanitarian and development issues. Emergency solutions, as experience shows, are more expensive than structural solutions. The healing solutions are good but the preventive solutions are better. It is on this vision that we are working with all our partners, particularly with WFP. With WFP we seek both to save and change lives, to fulfill the humanitarian agenda and to ensure development.

Saving lives is what we have been doing with WFP since 1968. Initially WFP was involved in school feeding, emergency food assistance and nutrition.

Following the major droughts experienced by Niger, it was considered necessary to expand WFP’s activities to address the resulting concerns, in particular environmental restoration, combating desertification, agro-silvo-pastoral and fisheries production, social protection and governance.

From 2012, WFP’s strategy and its modalities of intervention have evolved and adapted to Niger’s context and institutional landscape. Thus, WFP has made a real commitment to carry out a whole range of activities related to the strategic programs developed by the public institutions in the context of the management of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), child protection, teenage nutrition, local food purchases, predictable cash transfer strategy for chronically vulnerable households, and major studies such as the Cost of Hunger and on Climate Smart Agriculture / AIC, etc.

Other important actions are related to the establishment and animation of multi-stakeholder consultation frameworks in the field and the financing of actions related to the “Convergence Communes” approach. WFP has also contributed to our country’s endorsement of the SUN (Scaling Up Nutrition), Renew Effort Against Child Hunger and Under-Nutrition (REACH) and Zero Hunger Challenge processes.

WFP is present in the Lake Chad Basin where violence related to the Boko Haram conflict has displaced thousands of people. This crisis has destabilized the region of Diffa also precipitating the local populations in a great vulnerability. The border with Mali is also subject to increasing destabilization. WFP provides food assistance in these areas to assist conflict victims, refugees, displaced persons, returnees and host local populations.

To change lives, WFP is working with the Government throughout Niger to make people more resilient to shocks, including climate, that threaten farmers’ livelihoods and livelihoods. Thus, WFP implements an integrated package including several complementary activities in the communes identified as priorities and qualified as convergence communes. Allow me to mention here, in particular, the actions that WFP is dedicating to the nutrition and education of adolescent girls up to the age of 19 years. These actions contribute to the creation of the conditions of the demographic transition in a country where the population exponentially increases.

–         Implementation of an integrated package of interventions aimed at strengthening resilience at the field level;

–         Capacity development;

–         The development of strategic partnerships.

Most recently, in early 2017, the collaboration between Niger and the WFP was extended to the exercise of the Zero Hunger strategic review in coherence with the national policies and strategies adopted by Niger and with the Sustainable Development Objective no. 2 (SDO-2).

Ladies and gentlemen,

Regarding the current food situation in Niger, the government has developed a food insecurity response plan for 2018 which aims to (i) improve access to food for vulnerable households and feed for livestock. livestock, (ii) strengthen resilience and protect the livelihoods of vulnerable households, (iii) contribute to the reduction of morbidity and mortality related to malnutrition, and (iv) improve monitoring and evaluation and coordination of livelihoods. interventions. The target is to help 1,624,000 people in severe food insecurity during the lean season and out of welding. The total cost of the interventions has been estimated at nearly 300 million Euros or about 200 billion CFA francs to mobilize.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today, the people of Niger have become aware of the need to master their destiny. They are actively involved in the production and transformation activities of the rural world and the rural economy. They advance by working in these political and strategic choices of Niger.

On behalf of the Nigerian people, I would like to thank the WFP for its commitment, which the Executive Director reaffirmed on the occasion of his recent visit to Niger, reaffirming his determination to work closely with the Niger authorities to the mobilization of resources necessary for the sustainable exit of the country from food and nutritional insecurity and the strengthening of the resilience of the populations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to renew here our appreciation for the exemplary partnership that binds the Sahel countries to your institution. Indeed, nowhere else will WFP’s missions find the full extent of their relevance in the Sahel, given the structural challenges that this region faces and whose causes, if diverse, come in particular from geographical, demographic constraints. , climatic, socio-economic and security.

The G5 Sahel member countries are convinced that we are at a historic turning point. Indeed, it is clear that the political will to trigger positive change in the Sahel is real, both on the side of the leadership of the G5 Sahel member countries, and on the side of our friends and partners. We must seize this momentum and quickly make decisive progress in the implementation of initiatives to bring peace and security as well as to accelerate the multi-sectoral development of the Sahelo-Saharan region. On the security front, we are already on the right track with the establishment of our Joint Force.

In terms of development, in addition to the individual initiatives of the member countries, the G5 Sahel has designed a Priority Investment Program (PIP), resulting from its Strategy for Development and Security (SDS) and wants to make quickly palpable for our populations , the will of gradual positive transformation of the Sahel space. This four-axis plan, which focuses on resilience and human development, will be the subject of a partners’ roundtable on 6 December in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

Other important initiatives related to the development and resilience of the people of the Sahel are underway. This is the case for the Sahel zone climate commission set up on the sidelines of COP 22, chaired by Niger and comprising 17 countries in West, Central and Eastern Africa. The process of the operationalization of this commission which has been validated, should lead, before the end of the year 2018, to the elaboration and the adoption of a Climate Investment Plan for the period 2018 – 2030, with a Priority Investment Plan 2018 – 2020. On November 3 and 4, 2018, a summit of heads of state and government of Niamey will be held in Niamey, followed by a round table for the financing of the Plan d ‘investment.

This is also the case for the International Conference on Desertification and the Green Economy that my country is preparing to organize, with the support of some partners including the International Organization of La Francophonie. This conference aims to help mobilize additional support for the scaling up of best practices capitalized in these areas.

The Sahel countries would be pleased to have WFP among the key partners for the success of these important initiatives for the development and resilience of their people.

With the support of WFP and other partners, we are convinced that the challenges facing the people of the Sahel will soon be a distant memory.

 Thank you!’

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