OCHA Niger – Flash Update: Massive displacement of people in Diffa region, 4th April 2019

Context

The Diffa region is currently affected by the rapid deterioration of the security situation following the activities of non-state armed groups in the Lake Chad Basin.
At least 21 attacks against civilians and military forces were recorded in the region in March 2019, with a record of 12 kidnappings and 88 civilian deaths. These numbers mark a significant increase if compared with the 107 people killed in by attacks of non-state armed groups between January and December 2018 reached 107 people. There is therefore a shift in the patterns of the offensives perpetrated by these groups and a worrying increase in the number of attacks targeting the most vulnerable populations, including displaced and refugee communities.

Highlights

18 480 displaced people

A movement of 18.480 people towards the urban center of Diffa and other big settlements was provoked by the latest attacks of the non-state armed groups against the villages of N'gagam, Elhaj Mainari, Boula Kiassa in the commune of Gueskérou, and the villages of Dourou and Koublé in the commune of Chetimari. According to the data published by the Regional Directorate of Civil Status, Refugees and Migration in July 2018, 249,813 people were already hosted in the region, including 118,868 refugees, 25,731 returned, 104,288 internally displaced persons.

18 hosting sites

Among the 18 hosting sites, including districts of Diffa town and some villages, the most populated ones are the site of Awaridi (7880 displaced persons) in the urban district of Diffa and the site of Kindjandi (2445 displaced persons), in the commune of Gueskérou. These figures remain dynamic as populations continue to arrive at the various sites.

Several meetings were held by humanitarian actors in Diffa and Niamey to ensure a coordinated and effective response
An extraordinary session of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), convened on 1st of April in Niamey, recommended, in synergy with the decisions taken by the Area Security Management Team (ASMT) meeting in Diffa, to maintain the presence of humanitarian actors and the assistance on the ground in accordance with humanitarian principles, including the principle of impartiality. The HCT also evaluated the proposal advanced by the local authorities to relocate the displaced people to the refugee camp of Sayam Forage, and reconfirmed the principle to support only voluntary and non-stigmatizing relocations that target one or more specific categories of populations on the basis of their status. The Protection Cluster will submit an analysis in this regard. Meanwhile, regular sector group meetings are held in Diffa. The actors of civil-military coordination are working to guarantee humanitarian access.

Humanitarian actors have started to assess the urgent needs on the sites as well as their capacities and strategies of intervention within the different working groups.
The Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) working group in Diffa has already carried out five multisectoral assessments (MSA) to the aim of identifying the most urgent needs for the peoples displaced in the sites of Awaridi, Gorodi and Kindjandi as well as for displaced people housed in host families in Diffa. After a first analysis of these assessments, it appears that the most critical needs concern water, sanitation, shelter / NFI and food. The OCHA Office in Diffa is currently collecting the necessary information to produce a comprehensive overview of the needs, of the response put in place, and of the gaps that remain to be filled.

Thanks to the availability of contingency stocks, initial assistance has already been deployed in the most urgent sectors such as Nutrition, WASH, Health, Shelter and NFI
Since the 27th of March, humanitarian actors have distributed in Awaridi 35.6 tons of food for 6,860 people, including 672 children from 6 to 23 months. 476 shelter kits and 423 NFI kits were distributed for displaced households, 200 housing units of the urbanized site occupied by 1,039 people. At least 1,733 people received 26 m3 of water per day through water trucking and two wells with a capacity of 1,000 people were treated. Mobile clinics and psycho-social support specialists are available on the site. In Diffa neighborhoods, 2737 people received NFI kits. While the amount of people keeps growing, the availability of these resources is very limited. The sites of Kindjandi, Boudouri, Kursari, Gorodi, Bilabrine, Gagamari haven’t yet received an assistance. While awaiting for a complete overview of the needs, small emergency funds have already been made available by some financial partners.

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