Freeze development aid to Niger

1 August 2023

Minister Gennez recently announced that development aid to Niger would not be suspended for the time being. Following the coup in Niger, the European Union ceased all development aid to the country. However, Belgium will continue to invest in Niger. MP Kathleen Depoorter: “The government made agreements with a government that no longer exists. Moreover, this coup has left the federal government’s Sahel strategy in tatters. Continuing to give development aid is thus not a good idea. I will therefore make sure to question the minister about this in parliament.”

Both the European Union and France are suspending all financial and military support. Belgium is only suspending military support. “Minister Gennez says she is closely monitoring the situation and is only directly supporting the development projects rather than the regime. But is that really true?” asks Depoorter. “Because it is not yet clear whether the local projects will receive approval from the new regime and whether the money can be confiscated. It is therefore essential that Belgium reconsiders its position and joins international efforts to put pressure on the new regime.”

In the meantime, it is clear that the new regime is siding with Russia and wants to sever all ties with the West. “I don’t understand why we continue to invest in Niger after such threatening language,” Depoorter says. “They no longer want to hear from us unless it’s about the money. The choice to temporarily stop all development aid until there is clarity makes it a no-brainer. I am therefore calling on the minister to temporarily halt development aid to Niger until there is clarity about the new regime and it provides guarantees that it will restart the democratic system.”

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