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A nearly $450 million investment package from the Millennium Challenge Corporation—an independent US foreign aid agency—for Niger will empower farmers and bolster transit infrastructure in the West African state, improving the livelihoods of more than 3.9 million Nigeriens, according to Niger’s prime minister, Brigi Rafini.

The Nigerien government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on July 29 enacted the investment compact—the first of its kind for Niger.

“The main problem in Niger is agricultural production and we want to focus, in particular, on the livelihoods of agriculturists and farmers—and that is at the very heart of the [MCC] program,” Rafini said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on July 28.

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