(MENAFN - Arab News) Mahamadou Issoufou, president of Niger, received Ahmad Muhammad Ali, president, Islamic Development Bank Group, at the Conference Palace in Jeddah yesterday.
During the meeting, the IDB Group signed a number of agreements with the government of Niger to support food security programs and other development measures. The financing agreements were signed by IDB Group President and Deputy CEO of ITFC Hani Sonbol representing the IDB Group, and Niger Minister of Planning and IDB Gov. Amadou Boubacar Cisse.
Of the three agreements, the 20 million credit line from the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) envisages import of 30,000 tons of cereals including rice and maize as well as building up of nearly 7,000 tons of storable crops and food reserves as part of Niger's national food shortage prevention security program.
Under the second agreement 400,000 will be allocated to Niger in the framework of a recent 2 million IDB program to support international efforts for prevention of a possible wave of famine in the African Continent's Sahel Region.
The IDB also signed another agreement with Niger for 100,000 to provide emergency food and medical supplies to Mali refugees crossing the borders with Niger.
During the meeting, which focused on ways to promote cooperation between Niger and the IDB Group, Issoufou expressed appreciation to the IDB Group for its support to his country in its development efforts particularly those aimed at providing emergency food and relief aid to the drought stricken people.
The Niger president further underlined the significance of IDB's contribution to the bilingual education project (Arabic-French), which is instrumental in incorporating the youth and qualifying them for effective participation in community development. The IDB Group had earlier funded 300 million for supporting bilingual education projects in Sub-Saharan African countries aimed at curbing youth unemployment and preparing them to take over jobs as per development requirements in their own countries.
Ali expressed appreciation and his institution's readiness to upgrade the existing level of cooperation in the interest of the Islamic Ummah, particularly the people of Niger.