World Bank suspends disbursements to Niger amid sanctions

The Bank cited political unrest in the country as the cause of the suspension of funding.

World Bank suspends disbursements to Niger amid sanctions
Image credit: World Bank. 
Editor’s note: This story is part of Mariblock’s “State of Fiat” coverage. Digital assets such as bitcoin are seen as competitors to central bank money. Therefore, we consider informing our audience of the state of their local currencies worthwhile.

The World Bank announced on August 2 that it would suspend the disbursement of funds to Niger due to political tensions in the country. 

The details 

  • The Bank said on its website that it would cautiously continue its partnerships with private organizations in the country despite the political tensions. 
  • The suspension comes barely six weeks after the World Bank’s board of executive directors approved $230 million for the country. This was directed at improving the quality of education in the country. 
  • It concluded that it would closely monitor the events unfolding in the West African state. 

Key quote 

  • The World Bank said: 
“We are alarmed by efforts to overthrow the democratically elected government in Niger. In response, the World Bank has paused disbursements for all operations until further notice other than private sector partnerships, which will continue with caution.” 

Some context 

  • Niger’s military announced on national television on July 26 that it had ousted the democratically elected president of the country, Mohamed Bazoum, and had assumed power. 
  • Regional and global organizations condemned the move and imposed several economic sanctions on the country. 
  • On July 29, French authorities and the European Union (EU) announced in separate press statements that they were cutting off all the country’s financial support and demanded a return to constitutional order. 
  • According to reports, the EU allocated $554 million to Niger to be disbursed over four years, between 2021 and 2024.  
  • In addition, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sanctioned Niger by freezing all commercial and financial transactions between ECOWAS member states and Niger in a statement asking the military to cede power. 
  • To further compound the woes of Niger, often ranked as the world’s poorest country, the Central Bank of West African States canceled a planned $51 million bond issuance by Niger scheduled for July 31. While Niger has two further bond issuances planned for August 7 and 17, it remains to be seen whether these political issues would have been resolved before then. 

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