The ICRC regional delegation in Niamey covers Mali and Niger. The ICRC protects and helps people affected by armed conflict in both countries. It visits detainees and provides them with material aid where necessary.
With the opening of its delegation for Mali and Niger in 2010, the ICRC stepped up its operations in these countries, focusing on helping victims of violence in remote northern areas.
In 2011, the ICRC came to the aid of people affected by the often-combined effects of violence and recurring food crises. It distributed food rations, provided agricultural and veterinary assistance, ran "cash for work" programmes and vaccination campaigns, and refurbished health-care centres.
Providing agricultural assistance and fostering financial self sufficiency
Thanks to an improved farming and stockbreeding campaign in 2010, the following year was less difficult, despite the high level of vulnerability in some areas. The ICRC is gradually phasing out emergency-aid programmes and replacing them with programmes to foster financial self-sufficiency. Vigilance and flexibility are nevertheless called for, since many observers are warning of a production deficit in 2012.
Carrying out veterinary activities
Exceptionally erratic rainfall in 2009 had a devastating impact on crops and livestock, particularly in the north of Mali and Niger. This further undermined the living conditions of communities already suffering the effects of violence, poverty and limited access to basic services. In 2010, the ICRC bought more than 37,000 head of cattle from local herders, had the animals slaughtered and distributed the meat to families in need. It also distributed food rations to some 200,000 people.
Supporting migrants returning from Libya
The armed conflict in Libya has led to a mass return of migrants to Niger and Mali. Reception and transit centres, set up in conjunction with the Red Cross Societies of both countries, provide vulnerable returnees with food, access to transport and the means to contact their families.
Helping displaced people
Although the fighting has subsided between government forces and armed opposition groups in the north of Niger and Mali, in some regions – such as Ansongo in Mali and Tillabéri in Niger – a resurgence of intercommunal violence has forced thousands to flee their homes. The ICRC has come to the aid of these temporarily displaced people, along with returnees and other vulnerable people in the area.
The ICRC supports prison authorities by building or repairing sanitary facilities in prisons and by providing hygiene items, medical supplies and medicines.
Cooperating with the National SocietiesThe ICRC works closely with the National Red Cross Societies of both countries, especially in the areas of disaster preparedness, disaster response and support for community projects.
Promoting international humanitarian lawThe ICRC strives to promote international humanitarian law among the armed forces and other weapon bearers, and to encourage the authorities to implement it throughout the region. It focuses its efforts on ensuring that international humanitarian law is included in the training and practices of the armed and security forces.