Rural communities in the south-central Maradi region of Niger are set to receive a major financial boost from the UN, enabling local communes to make their own agricultural investment decisions. The UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) announced Jan. 15 that it plans to provide USD 16 million, a USD 8 million loan and the other half a grant, to support the second phase of a rural rehabilitation and development project. The project will establish local funds to finance the collective investments of 56 rural communes and empower them to decide on their particular agricultural priorities in-line with the Government's push for greater decentralization. (UN News Service)

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