UNDP supports Niger elections
Niamey - Niger went to the polls on 31 January to choose a new president and parliament, completing a process of transition from military to civilian rule initiated in February 2010.
“These elections symbolize the return to a governance system that is capable of tackling the [country’s] key development issues,” said Khardiata Lo N’Diaye, UNDP Resident Representative in Niger, citing political stability, food security and women’s education as top priorities.
Last year the Government of Niger, supported by the UN, launched a massive humanitarian intervention which averted the worst effects of a food and nutrition crisis that threatened the lives of more than seven million people.
UNDP mobilized USD 40 million among the donor community, managing a basket fund that has helped the country’s electoral commission to organize no less than six ballots: a constitutional referendum; regional, municipal, parliamentary and two rounds of presidential elections.
“The circumstances have been complex, including food crises and the suspension of several aid flows to Niger due to the political situation,” added Lo N’Diaye.
In addition, UNDP worked with two American Non-Governmental Organizations to promote civic education and encourage the participation of the most vulnerable groups, including women, nomadic communities and people with disabilities.
One of the new civilian government’s priorities will be to finalize a plan to decisively tackle food insecurity, under a scheme that will tackle bottlenecks and identify practical solutions to end hunger in Niger.