Lancement Niger AFD

Marie-Pierre Nicollet, director of the AFD’s demographic and social transition department in Niger

“The originality of the MERIEM project is not the fact that it provides solutions to malnutrition, it is the fact that it prevents it by inviting the private sector to become mobilised in the prevention of this illness using innovative solutions.

Is there a pathway, a happy medium between the World Food Programme’s humanitarian nutritional programmes targeting the most vulnerable populations, and the purchase of imported fortified food products that are not affordable for the majority of people? What is solidarity investment, if not the capacity of Sahelian businesses to demonstrate that they can respond to a social objective while protecting the conditions of their financial profitability, at the very least, profitability that would be sufficient to renew the investment?

Is solidarity investment for nutrition reserved for the non-profit private sector? Or is it the societal responsibility of all businesses? This is the question that two very different donors – the Gates foundation, generated by the work of an iconic capitalist company, and the Agence Française de Développement, a public development bank generated by the contributions of French tax payers – wanted to answer. The creation of this platform of partners called MERIEM makes sense.”

Source:, 15 February 2019, to mark the launch of the MERIEM project in Niger.