UNCDF has been present in Niger since 1982, addressing its development challenges through several projects combining inclusive finance and local development. Today, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
Through the Inclusive Digital Economies practice, UNCDF and the EU recently partnered on a three-year project in Niger aimed to bring expertise in inclusive finance and financial literacy to young people. The program was part of a €30 million joint action with AICS, Enabel, and SNV, provides digital financial solutions to youth that have historically been seen as too risky by commercial banks and micro-finance institutions. UNCDF works with Capital Finance, Moov, and other partners to provide savings accounts and to educate the local population on how to use such services via a digital platform.
Through Local Development Finance, UNCDF is implementing the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) initiative helping governments channel global climate adaptation financing to the local level, cope with the increased cost of building resilience against climate change and natural disasters. Over a three-year pilot phase in Niger, the LoCAL Facility financed 64 adaptation investments in nine communes. Niger is also one of the West African countries (along with Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali) included in the joint UNCDF-LoCAL–West African Development Bank (BOAD) funding proposal submitted to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in early 2020.