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UNHCR Niger Factsheet: Diffa Region, October 2020

News and Press Release
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The Diffa region hosts 265,696* Nigerian refugees, internally displaced persons and Nigerien returnees. More than 80% of them live in spontaneous settlements. (*Government figures)

Since April 2019, movements are restricted on many axes following attacks, kidnappings and the increased use of explosive devices.

The security situation has a strong negative impact on the economy of the region, reducing opportunities for both host and displaced populations.

Update on Achievements
Operational Context
Population movements and security situation

The Diffa region has been hosting Nigerian refugees fleeing terrorist violence in the northern states of Nigeria since 2013. In the wake of the first attacks on Niger soil in 2015, the situation has dramatically deteriorated. In May 2015, the authorities decided to evacuate the population living in the Niger region of the Lake Chad Islands.

Following the first attacks in the Diffa region, the population on the move has become increasingly mixed. The majority of the displaced are settled in more than 140 spontaneous sites, villages and towns along the one main road of the region, the Route Nationale 1. At the request of the authorities, UNHCR has established two camps: the refugee camp of Sayam Forage and the IDP camp of Kablewa. The latter was closed by the Government in June 2017 after a suicide bomb attack.

The security situation has serious negative effects on the economy of the region, reducing the absorption capacity of the host population and the capacity of the displaced population to support itself. The population of the fertile areas (Lake Chad, Komadougou river) have been displaced, the pastoral routes have been destroyed, and cross-border exchange and trade (seasonal migration, trade of goods) are deeply affected. Despite a significant increase in humanitarian interventions, the needs are still high. Already weak before the crisis, basic services and infrastructure (water, health, and education) are increasingly under pressure and highly dependent on humanitarian actors. The border with Nigeria has been closed in August 2019 which increase the price of essential goods for population.
Since April 2019, movements are restricted on the Gueskerou, Toumour, Bosso axis following the discovery of explosive devices, successive attacks and kidnappings. In 2020, attacks against the population with multiple kidnappings, the trademark of Boko Haram, continue as threats towards humanitarian workers.

49 protection incidents were reported in the region, compared to 38 for the previous month, while 84 victims were recorded against 182 in August. This increase may be linked to the impossibility for the army to reach certain localities, including the Lake Chad islands because of deterioration of roads due to the rainy season and the rise of insecurity in the N'Guigmi department, which was considered as haven of peace in the Diffa region. The main rights violated can be ranged as the right to liberty (17 cases) and the right to integrity (15 cases), followed by SGBV (10 cases) and violations of the right to property (07 cases); 66 Individual Protection Assistance kits were given to persons with specific needs living in N’Guigmi and Kablewa. From 21 to 24 September, UNHCR has trained its NGO partners staffs dedicated to protection monitoring on data collection, protection and coordination.