July 2014: A large number of displaced people from southern Nigeria begin arriving in Niger’s Diffa region from northern Nigeria. With local resources exhausted, host communities were unable to cope with the situation. Access to water, sanitation and primary health care was critically low, and immediate humanitarian assistance required.
September 2014: 170,000 Swiss francs allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Emergency Appeal launched for 1,062,406 Swiss francs to assist 80,000 persons in health and care, water, hygiene and sanitation, food security and livelihoods, and promote peace and social cohesion.
2015 - 2016: More than 115 serious security incidents recorded, leading to more than 240,000 displaced in Diffa. The Government’s State of Emergency extended for Diffa.
July 2015: Revised Emergency Appeal issued for a total of 851,786 Swiss francs for a reduced caseload of 50,000 people, and Appeal extended to December 2015.
December 2015: Twelve-month Update issued, extending the Emergency Appeal to June 2016 while discussions are carried out on the direction of the operation.
August 2016: Revised Emergency Appeal launched for 1,429,530 Swiss francs support the NRCS to deliver assistance and support to 58,000 people for an additional 6 months.
October 2016: The Government of Niger and UNHCR report a total of 221.790 population in displacement situation while the security situation remains being a big issue.
December 2016: The Emergency Appeal extended up to June 2017 to allow provision of assistance in diverse domains to the target communities most affected by the population displacements.
A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Since July 2014, the Diffa region in Niger has received approximately 800 displaced persons from Northern Nigeria each week. With 77,000 displaced persons being hosted in the region, the host and incoming population were in a critical situation due to lack of essential food and non-food items in shelter, health and water and sanitation. Needs assessment and scenario planning undertaken by the humanitarian agencies and the authorities indicate that this number will increase as the insecurity in northern Nigeria continues. According to the UNOCHA Humanitarian bulletin of September 2017, the Diffa region of Niger is currently hosting at least 248,000 people. This population includes the refugees, the internally displaced people (IDP) and the host population.
Most of the displaced persons (refugees and returnees) are being hosted by families in communities while a large number are in the islands of Lake Chad. The local population in the affected regions of Diffa were depending on rains for farming and livestock. Since May 2014, the region is experiencing a rainfall shortage. The low rainfall is also affecting pasture growth for livestock and the current lean season is expected to continue until November 2017. According to FEWS NET report of Feb – September 2017, the results of the households’ food security in the Diffa region indicates a Stress (IPC phase 2) or crisis (IPC phase 3). This situation will likely continue from February – September 2017 because of the persistent of the Boko Haram conflict, which continue to disrupt keys livelihoods and seasonal incomes.
The 2017 agricultural season in the region of Diffa is marked by the attacks of the grasshoppers on millet and sorghum and the caterpillars destroying legumes such as beans among others. At the beginning of this agricultural season, the government provided 5,800 liters of pesticides that could handle 13,000 hectares. But by 4 September 2017, more than 17,884 hectares were declared affected and 13,160 were treated with 9,243 liters of pesticides. Five out of the six districts of the region are concerned. This includes Diffa, Maine Soroa, Goudoumaria, Nguigmi and Bosso. The most affected by these attacks is Goudoumaria, with 10,307 hectares infested and 7,571 hectares treated; Maine Soroa with 2.269 ha affected including 2.175 treated; Nguigmi 1,480 ha affected and 1,200 treated; Bosso 500 infested and 350 treated; Diffa district 2.100 ha infested and 1,510 ha treated and in the Diffa municipality, 432 affected and 354 treated.
Diffa is also one of the poorest areas in Niger, and malnutrition rates remain very high (currently in most parts of Diffa, the Global Acute Malnutrition rate is 13%, above the critical threshold of 10%). As health care and access is limited, with the influx of new arrivals, the situation is putting an additional strain in the limited health facilities due to lack of personnel, infrastructure and medication.
The general health situation is low amongst the population in the region, with some islands of Lake Chad experiencing HIV prevalence rates of up to 10% (compared to the national rate of 0.6%). The sporadic and inadequate amounts of rainfall the region has caused the occurrence of Hepatitis E epidemic outbreak in the region. According to the Niger’s Ministry of Health, from 1st January to 13 September 2017, at least 1840 hepatitis E confirmed cases have been registered including 38 deaths in the region of Diffa.