In Niger, IOM seeks to reinforce protection at the community level through a scale-up of humanitarian assistance to crisis-affected populations while promoting resilience through advocacy and direct action to support the transition and recovery of affected communities.
Reinforcing the referral mechanism for health and protection cases to national/regional and humanitarian health and protection structures also remains a priority. In addition, IOM supports the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management through capacity building to strengthen the Government of Niger's policies, procedures and tools to manage forced displacement cycles, disaster risk reduction and build the resilience of communities impacted by climate change.
In 2020, the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) determined that over 3.2 million individuals will be in need of assistance across all sectors. The lack of organised formal displacement sites leads displaced households to occupy public infrastructures, free land or to cohabitate with host families. New and existing spontaneous displacement sites are currently devoid of any basic social services like schools, health centers, watering points or some require rehabilitation of said structures. The hospitality provided by host families is not without consequence as their livelihood capacity is seen as reduced, hence reducing resilience due to the obligation to share the various basic social services which in most cases did not satisfy the needs of the host community before the crisis. In addition, Niger being a major corridor for irregular migration, community stabilisation initiatives are required in order to support the Government of Niger and Nigerienne civil society to increase communities’ resilience and integration as well as to reduce the push factors for irregular and forced migration. The transhumance phenomenon in Niger has been affected with the ongoing crisis in the Lake Chad and Liptako Gourma forcing the nomadic population to deviate from historical routes and encroach on arable lands, creating tensions between pastoral and farming communities which have led to conflict and displacement (IDPs) in some communities.
The number of people in need has risen significantly in 2020, especially for forced displacement related to armed conflict. The increase in 2020 over 2019 is due to several factors including; i) the Maradi crisis which worsened with over 41,000 refugees newly arrived in 2019 (UNHCR); ii) ongoing crisis in the Diffa region with 26,725 newly displaced in 2019; and iii) the exacerbation of the situation along the three borders between Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali (Liptako Gourma).
For all regional transhumance-related activities, please see IOM's Sahel Transhumance Crisis Response Plan 2020.