More than 211,000 affected people, 57 dead and 16,375 houses after the recent floods. Three regions account for 67% of the affected population: Maradi, Zinder and Agadez.
More than 40,000 Nigerian refugees from Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina have found shelter in several communities of Maradi. 64% of host families shelter an average of 23 people each.
Despite the positive results of the agropastoral campaign, food insecurity is threatening 480,000 people in the regions affected by the security crisis.
With more than 250 civil murders and more than 250 kidnappings, civilian victims in 2019 are already the highest ever registered since the outbreak of the security crisis in 2015.
Humanitarian situation overview
The emergence of new humanitarian needs and the persistence of the needs not covered led to a worsening of the vulnerability of the people affected in 2019. This situation is further aggravated by factors related to the deterioration of the security situation in the three regions of Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabéri, where non-state armed groups have increased their activities during the last months. In Diffa, recent attacks by armed groups have resulted in secondary movements of about thousands of people. In Tahoua and Tillaberi, around 80,000 people have been internally displaced since the beginning of the year. Recently, the deterioration of the security at the Nigeria border has also led to the displacement of more than 35,000 Nigerians towards the region of Maradi. Humanitarian resources continue to decline as needs grow. To date, 9 months after the beginning of the year, the humanitarian response plan for Niger is funded at only 36% of the required budget (in comparison, at the same period in 2018, the plan was financed at 41%).
Massive displacement in Maradi: a new emergency on Niger's borders
Since May 2019, more than 40,000 Nigerians from the states of Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina have decided to leave their homes despite the insecurity and constraints of the rainy season, for seeking refuge in the region of Maradi, south-east Niger. These people say they fled the upsurge of violence, kidnappings and killings perpetrated against their communities by armed groups whose exact motives and structures remain unclear.
Movements started with a first wave of 15,000 refugees arrived in Niger in mid-May 2019, followed in July by a second large flux. Smaller community movements are now continuously recorded along the border. According to a trend analysis proposed by the Nigerian authorities and UNHCR, a total of 50,000 refugees could seek refuge in the region of Maradi by the end of 2019 as a consequence of the continued attacks against civilians in Nigeria. Refugees are currently being hosted by Nigerien families living along the border, in the districts of Guidan-Roumdji, Guidan Sori, Gabi, Safo, Madarounfa and Tibiri. Their arrival has significantly increased the demographic density of these districts, which originally counted for about 45,000 people. Hospitality has been offered by the hosting communities despite the precariousness of their conditions and their limited reception capacities, and thus increasing their level of vulnerability in several sectors, such as food security, water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) and health.
A series of multisectoral assessments (MSAs) conducted by the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) in 40 villages has found that 64% of host families give shelter to an average of 23 refugees per household. It should be noted that only 37% of these families live in functional shelters, and that the recent floods have affected the living conditions and resources of more than 25,000 people in this region. Such a situation is raising concerns on the rapid depletion of drinking water and food supplies, on the rapid spread of epidemic diseases such as measles, polio and choler, for which cases are periodically reported in the region, and which have as a consequence the deterioration of the nutritional status and an increase of child mortality. UNHCR has already noted a high prevalence of acute malnutrition among children under 5 and pregnant women: this rate is around 35% among refugee children and 16% in host communities. At the same time, the results of a rapid assessment of the food and nutrition situation conducted during the past August by the Dispositif National de Prévention et de Gestion des Catastrophes et des Crises Alimentaires (DNPGCA) in collaboration with humanitarian partners, show that the impact of displaced populations on resources has dramatically accelerated the depletion of food reserves of hosting households during the lean season, and in a moment when the punctuality of markets supply has been seriously challenged by the growing insecurity.
Despite the patrols of the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) of Niger and Nigeria, no protection monitoring mechanisms have been set up to assist the psychosocial distress in which the refugee and host populations live as a result of the violence, abuses and exploitations. And yet, several protection risks are linked to the settlement of the refugees near the border. Recently, between September 17 and 19, a group of about 100 armed individuals traveling on motorcycles reportedly carried out several attacks against civilians on both sides of the border.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.