Malian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
Niger has been hosting Malian refugees since the outbreak of the conflict in northern Mali in 2012. As of 30 April 2020, UNHCR Niger has registered 58,702 Malian refugees in its biometric database. They are living in 3 areas in the Tillabery region (Ayerou, Ouallam, Abala), in a refugee hosting area for nomadic refugees in the Tahoua region and in the capital Niamey.
The gradual decrease of the security situation has caused the internal displacement of 108,941 persons in the same regions with rising numbers every day.
Finally, the presence of armed groups in Burkina Faso has triggered the cross-border displacement of 3,457 Burkinabe at the least in Tillabery region and have added to rising numbers of internal displacement.
After almost 8 years of presence in Niger, UNHCR and the Government of Niger give priority to medium- and long-term solutions for Malian refugees that will promote social cohesion, self-reliance and a durable integration into national services systems.
All Malian refugee camps have been closed towards the end of 2019; this was a joint vision of the Government and UNHCR which was accelerated in the current security context. UNHCR is relocating Malian refugees from the camps of Tabareybarey, Mangaize and Abala to the villages of Ayerou,
Ouallam and Abala with the support of CERF.
With the support of the EU Trust Fund, UNHCR has set up a collaboration with the Regional Directorates of Health, Education and Hydraulics, to ensure the inclusion of refugees into national mechanisms. With the support of GIZ, UNHCR and the Government can give Malian refugees access to land in an urbanized site where Nigerien families will be settled as well. For 4000 vulnerable persons among the refugee and host population, a social house is part of the package.
Moreover, an extensive tripartite collaboration has been developed between the World Bank, the Government of Niger and UNHCR to render refugees more resilient thanks to improved access to basic public services and support for economic opportunities. With the support of ILO, Malian refugees will be included in a market-based livelihood intervention in the area of fish production and waste management.
A Tripartite Agreement between the Governments of Niger, Mali and UNHCR provides a legal framework for voluntary returns. UNHCR assists those who wish to return with a cash grant.
The IDP crisis is monitored by a broad community-based network and analysis is carried out on a regular basis. Capacity building and coordinated efforts with humanitarian actors are ongoing to ensure an adequate response to the situation. National legislation for assistance and protection to IDPs based on the Kampala Convention is in place.