USAID awards Grant to Reduce Child, Early and Forced Marriage in Niger to Plan International

January 13, 2022

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WASHINGTON, DC, — January 13, 2022 — Plan International has received an award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to prevent child, early and forced marriage (CEFM) in Niger. The award titled Prevention of Child Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) Activity in Niger: GirlEngage Niger, totalling $2.53 million, began on January 1, 2022 and will last for two years.

Niger has the highest rate of married girls under the age of 18 worldwide, and COVID-19 has exacerbated this reality. This project builds on USAID’s extensive support of girls’ rights and education in Niger. With more than 20 years of experience in the country, Plan brings institutional knowledge of the local context and a commitment to end child marriage both in Niger and globally.

The project will focus on systemic issues that lead to CEFM, specifically access to quality education, knowledge of sexual and reproductive health, economic opportunities and the lack of or weak enforcement of laws that protect girls. Keeping girls in school so they can complete secondary school has been proven as one of the most effective ways to reduce early marriage and increase economic possibilities later in life. In addition, the project will work directly with religious and community leaders, as well as parents, to value and prioritize girls.

“Through this activity, we hope to create an environment where girls are empowered to better understand their health, recognize their basic human rights and seek education opportunities,” said Debbie Alfred Pierre, director, Education Office, USAID Niger. “With the support of their communities, we hope to address the social norms that can often prevent girls from reaching their full potential and deciding their own futures.”

The project will be implemented in Maradi, Tillaberi and Zinder regions within Niger and aims to work with 2,400 girls and their parents, 1,200 boys, 240 community and religious leaders, 120 teachers and 480 community members. Plan will work with two partners, the Coalition of Nigerien Associates, Syndicates and NGOs for Education for All (ASO EPT-Niger) and Support to NGOs Empowerment and Development Strategies (SONGES).

“Girls are often seen as passive beneficiaries,” said Ismael Amadou Boubacar, head of program implementation, Plan Niger. “A unique aspect of this project is that it allows girls to be active participants, gain confidence and have their voices heard through various activities and the creation of girl-led committees.”

 

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Robin Costello
Senior Director, Public Engagement & Advocacy
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +1-401-829-2796

 

About USAID

The U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide. This press release is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the sole responsibility of Plan International and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

 

About Plan International USA

Powered by supporters, Plan International USA partners with adolescent girls, young women and children around the world to overcome oppression and gender inequality. We provide the support and resources that are unique to their needs and the needs of their communities, ensuring they achieve their full potential with dignity, opportunity and safety. Founded in 1937, Plan is an independent development and humanitarian organization that is active in more than 75 countries.

 

For more information, and to learn about our commitment to safeguarding, please visit www.PlanUSA.org.