Niger

Situation Report

Highlights (21 days ago)

  • About 70,000 people are displaced in Diffa, Tillabery, Maradi and Tahoua since January 2019
  • More than 150 civilians killed and about 100 people kidnapped as consequence of the upsurge of armed attacks in 2019
  • 170,000 people will be at risk of flooding during the rainy season
  • Urgent humanitarian needs estimated for 79 million USD, including 9 million USD required to ensure the rapid response mechanism
Girl in displaced crowd

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Niger

Situation Report

Key Figures

2,3M
people in need
1,2M
children in need
254K
internally displaced people
178K
refugees

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Niger

Situation Report

Funding (2019)

$383.1M
Required
$130.6M
Received
34%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Dieudonne Bamouni

Head of Office

Emanuele Cidonelli

Public Information, Advocacy and Humanitarian Financing

Niger

Situation Report
Forecast (22 days ago)
inondation

170,000 people at risk of flooding this year

Niger remains this year among the most exposed countries in the Sahel at risk of flooding. In 2018, heavy rains in July and August caused 52 deaths and more than 200,000 injured more than half of them located in the regions of Dosso and Agadez. Added to this are the destruction of more than 170,000 homes and nearly 8,000 hectares of crops, the death of 33,000 head of cattle, and the loss of several drinking water wells.

The weather forecast of the National Center of Meteorology does not envisage any lower risks for 2019. Cumulative rainfalls are expected in Niger for the period July-August-September, which associated with the occurrence of heavy rain and with the expected overflows in most of the river basins, indicate excess trends in the basins of Niger, Lake Chad and in the Volta upper basin. This results in a high risk of flooding for the regions of Niamey, Dosso, Tillaberi, Tahoua and Maradi.

90,000 IDPs and refugees in the regions at risk

The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for Niger estimates that 170,000 people could be affected by floods. These figures take into account the estimations made by the Government as well as the trends observed over the last 3 years, during which the number of victims has always exceeded the forecasts made for the contingency plan. It is also important to bear in mind that among the 5 regions most at risk, three of them (Tahoua, Tillabéry, and Maradi) shelter around 90,000 internally displaced people or refugees, who live in shelters with already very precarious living conditions.

A coordinated response government-humanitarians

To mitigate risks, the Government is working on the construction and reinforcement of protective dikes, the cleaning of gutters, and the implementation of awareness programs. Populations are advised to avoid the unauthorized occupation of flood-prone areas (for both houses and crops) and to monitor the warning thresholds in the various sites at high risk of flooding. Furthermore, it is recommended to strengthen agencies capacity in disaster risk reduction and implement integrated monitoring and early warning systems on flood risk. In support of these actions, humanitarian actors work to pre-position contingency stocks in high-risk areas to meet needs in the sectors of WASH, health, shelter and NFI.

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Niger

Situation Report
Analysis (21 days ago)
Enfants dans camp PDI

Civilians pay the toll of the security crisis

The security situation in northwestern Niger, at the borders with Mali and Burkina Faso, and in the south-east of the country that is part of the Lake Chad basin, has deteriorated considerably since January 2019 because of the activism of several non-state armed groups that have multiplied their initiatives, increased their capacity to harm and changed their operational modalities. The most worrying trend is undoubtedly the growing number of attacks directly targeting civilians, in both the eastern and the western regions. More than 100 abductions and a150 civilian deaths have been recorded since the beginning of 2019. These figures, which concern security incidents recorded only for the first five months of the year, already exceed the total civilian casualties recorded throughout the year 2018, which amounted to about 110 casualties.

Displaced people: an easy target

The situation has certainly reached its climax in the region of Diffa, which last March was the scene of multiple attacks by non-state armed groups to several villages in the communes of Gueskérou and Chétimari. These attacks resulted in the death of 88 people and the forced displacement of 28,000 people, most of whom were on their second or third displacement.

The 250,000 IDPs, refugees and returnees sheltered in the region are not thus exempt from these attacks. A recent example is the incursions carried out between 18 and 19 June against the refugee and displaced communities of Bosso and Gueskerou, which resulted in the death of six people and in the abduction of a woman and a 10 year old girl. Although the urban centers of Diffa and Gueskerou have for long represented a "safe zone" for these communities, the attack carried out gainst the city of Diffa during the night of 9 to 10 April marked the spirit of the population. A total of 140 civilians were killed in the region in the first five months of 2019. This is already double the number of civilian deaths recorded in 2018. Abductions are also a serious concern, with more than 80 civilians captured by armed groups, including several women and children.

Attacks against humanitarian undermine the assistance

This unpredictable activism does not spare actors and humanitarian resources on the ground. The region of Diffa has seen the most significant actions against humanitarians, such as the murder of an international NGO's employee on June 14th during his mission in the department of Maine Soroa, or the sacking of the Doctors Without Borders compound in the same department. In the Tillabery region, humanitarian vehicles have become the favorite target of non-state armed groups. Nine humanitarian vehicles have been hijacked between the months of April and May and one of these vehicles was used in the attack of May 13 against the high security prison of Koutoukalé, 30 km from the city from Niamey.

The resurgence of such acts had led the authorities to consider the use of armed escorts by humanitarian actors in their operations. The good collaboration and fruitful exchanges between the humanitarian community and the Government have made it possible to identify alternative mechanisms for the use of armed escorts, which should only be considered as a last resort and in observance of security and humanitarian principles.

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Niger

Situation Report
Emergency Response (21 days ago)
fundingsvsdisplacements

People displacement on the rise, humanitarian funding in decrease

Between January and June 2019, more than 60,000 people had to abdanon their homes to seek assistance and protection near the urban centers and the military positions of the regions of Tahoua, Tillaberi, Diffa and Maradi. The increasing violence of community conflicts and the systmatic targeting of civilians and vulnerable communities by the non-state armed groups active on the borders with Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso, are certainly the major causes for these movements.

More than 350,000 displaced people

The trend was already observable at the beginning of the year in the region of Tahoua, where the number of IDPs reached 18,131 between the months of January and February. About 23,000 IDPs are today registered in the region, with an increase of 6,000 people since the end of last year. In the Tillabéri region, the number of IDPs increased from 35,866 in December 2018 to 53,532 in March 2019. This is a worrying increase considering that forced internal displacements are a relatively new phenomenon in these two regions, and that the first signs of it were registered only in January 2018.

By the end of last March, the urban communes of Diffa and Gueskerou experienced the gradual arrival of more than 28,000 people, including 9,000 Nigerian refugees, who had moved after attacks by non-state armed groups. against several villages in the south-east of the country. Among the 22 sites and neighborhoodshosting these people, the most populated are the site of Awaridi (9,000 people) in the urban district of Diffa and the site of Kindjandi (3000 people), in the commune of Gueskérou. This is the largest wave of people since the outbreak of the crisis in February 2015, when repeated attacks by armed groups triggered in few months the displacement of about 50,000 people and the declaration of the state of emergency in the region. On another hand, this is the first time that a significant proportion of these movements (more than 70%) concerns people who were already displaced and who therefore already lived in extreme conditions of vulnerability and precariousness. These people are now at their second or third evacuation. In December 2018, the Regional Department of Civil Status, Refugees and Migration (DREC) of Diffa had registered more than 248,000 displaced persons or refugees in the region, including nearly 119,000 refugees, 104,000 displaced and 25,700 returned. These communities represent today one of the most privileged targets for armed groups. Recently, the deterioration of security at the border with Nigeria has also led to new cross-border movements of Nigerians to the Maradi region. About 20,000 refugees from Sokoto and Zamfara states in Nigeria arrived in the villages located between 500 meters and three kilometers from the border.

A worrying drop in funding

While humanitarian needs continue to grow, humanitarian funding are far from providing all the necessary means for an effective response. The Humanitarian Needs Overview for Niger estimates that about 2.3 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019, including 450,000 internally displaced persons and refugees. Only 23% of the 383 million USD required for the implementation of the Humanitarian Response Plan has been received to date, with a funding rate that is among the lowest in the Sahel countries as a whole. The trend observed over the last 5 years shows a gradual decrease of the funding while number of displaced people have continued to grow, with a critical impact on the needs of the country and on the humanitarian agenda. Last year, at this date, while the region of Tillabéry region was registering for the first time the arrival of 15,000 IDPs, the national Humanitarian Response Plan was funded only at 32%, with a much lower rate than in 2017, and yet, more effective than this year.

Humanitarians respond: an emergency plan

For longtime contingency stocks have enabled humanitarian actors to keep delivering the assistance, but the gradual depletion of these resources will soon leave the country without the necessary means to respond to new emergencies, while many households in the Tahoua regions, Tillabéry and Diffa have already remained for months without any assistance. In response to this issue, the humanitarian community has sought to identify the immediate needs for the next six months as well as priority activities in the different intervention sectors. The cost of this emergency plan is 79 million USD and includes:

  • strengthening the rapid response mechanism for the initial response to displacement;

  • distribution of shelter and NFI for 16,500 households;

  • the pre-positioning of medico-notional inputs for 200,000 children in severe acute malnutrition;

  • food assistance and distribution of livestock and seeds for the lean season;

  • provision of drinking water points and latrines for 67,000 people;

  • the availability of mobile clinics and drug distribution for 420,000 people to prevent the spread of cholera epidemics and childhood diseases (PCIME);

  • construction and equipment of 800 temporary learning spaces and training for 1,560 teachers to ensure access to education for children.

Children make up half of all forced IDPs in the three regions.

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Niger

Situation Report
Coordination (21 days ago)
corridors humanitaires Tillaberi

Civil-military coordination : a critical role for humanitarian assistance in Niger

The deterioration of the security situation and the imposition of security measures such as the state of emergency in some departments of the regions of Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabéry, have severely reduced the access of humanitarian actors to the people in need. This situation makes the dialogue between humanitarian actors and military actors particularly indispensable for the protection and the promotion humanitarian principles, the limtation of eventual incompatibilities, and the timely delivery of assistance to civilian populations. Following this vision, the humanitarian community works closely with the Nigerien authorities to operate in the currently inaccessible areas near the borders with Nigeria (eg Bosso and some localities on the islands of Lake Chad) and Mali (Tahoua and Tillabéry regions) without failing in its principles of neutrality, independence, impartiality and humanity.

A civil-military coordination mechanism extended across three regions

In the region of Tillabéry, OCHA's implementation of the CMCoord mechanism started on 13 April 2018 and has facilitated up to now almost 3,200 missions of UN agencies and national and international NGOs engaged in the implementation of humanitarian programs on the border areas with Mali and Burkina Faso. The operations implemented over these missions assisted more than 48,078 people with the construction of water points and latrines and the distribution of therapeutic food and NFI kits. More recently, the civil-military coordination framework has made it possible to break the impasse created in April by imposing armed escorts for humanitarian operations in this region, and to lead to models of assistance better aligned with the humanitarian imperatives. In the region of Tahoua, the mechanism was activated between August and September 2018 and, through the securing of two axes, allowed access to the sites of Agando, Assagueguey, Chinwaren, Intazene, Azakaza (Department of Tilia) and the Miguiza site (Tassara department) for the distribution of food and non-food items to 3,000 households.

While humanitarian access continues to be a challenge in the Diffa region, particularly in the islands of Lake Chad and the banks of the Komadougou river, civil-military coordination has had the merit of facilitating "coexistence" between humanitarian actors and the multiple military forces present in the region.

Facilitate a common understanding

Convinced of the importance of this mechanism for the humanitarian response in Niger, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) organized a series of meetings aimed at facilitating the understanding of this mechanism by all the actors involved. The most important was certainly the Information Day on Civil-Military Coordination and International Humanitarian Law, which was held on 9th April in Niamey and which saw the participation of the Minister of Humanitarian Action and Disasters Management, the Humanitarian Coordinator, the Secretaries General of the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and of the Ministry of Interior, the governors and the commanders of the zones of the regions of Agadez, Diffa, Tahoua and Tillabéry, the representatives of the National System of Prevention and Management of Disasters and Food Crisis and of the High Commission for Peacebuilding, representatives of international NGOs and donors, and a contribution from the ICRC.

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