The site for the fourth village of opportunity has been identified in Maradi
Since September 2018, non-state armed groups (NSAG) killings, looting and kidnappings in Nigeria’s North-Western States have forced tens of thousands of people to seek refuge in Maradi region, Niger. In total 70,000 Nigerian refugees live in the area. In addition, the repeated incursions of NSAG in Niger have triggered the internal displacement of over 23,000 people.
In September 2019, UNHCR opened a sub-office in Maradi to coordinate registration, protection, health, housing, access to WASH services and education. A key feature of the UNHCR response in Maradi is the relocation of refugees in villages of opportunity, away from the border, to ensure their safety and ease the pressure on host communities in the border area. These sites are created nearby existing villages, contributing to the development of rural areas lacking of basic infrastructures. Three villages of opportunity have been created and the site of the fourth one has been identified. For now, a total of 7,966 refugees have been relocated in the existing sites. Maradi region is currently the most affected by the massive floods that hit Niger lately: almost 1,300 refugees have lost their houses.