By John Ikani
Niger’s government is grappling with a substantial 40% reduction in its budget due to the fallout from the sanctions and aid suspension that followed the coup on July 26.
The development has raised concerns about the potential worsening of Niger’s already dire economic conditions, making it one of the world’s poorest nations.
In an announcement made on Saturday, the military junta revealed a significant cut in the 2023 budget, reducing it from $5.3 billion to $3.2 billion.
However, specific details regarding the nature of these budget cuts remain undisclosed.
It’s crucial to note that a substantial portion of Niger’s budget support for this year was anticipated to come from external partners.
Unfortunately, the coup that led to the removal of President Mohamed Bazoum resulted in regional and international sanctions.
The sanctions included the closure of borders, freezing of assets, and a halt in aid supplies.
Niger, being heavily reliant on imports, has experienced a surge in food and commodity prices.
In addition, the supply of medicines has been severely impacted due to trade restrictions, exacerbating the country’s difficulties.
Despite widespread regional and international condemnation of the coup, there have been rallies within the country expressing support for the junta.
Notably, neighbouring military governments, such as those in Mali and Burkina Faso, have also expressed their backing for the coup.