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2015 UNHCR country operations profile - Niger

| Overview |

Working environment

UNHCR 2015 Niger country operations map

  • While the authorities and host population provide substantial support to refugees, particularly for out-of-camp refugees in the Diffa region, the country's precarious socio-economic situation and limited basic social services have had a negative impact on peaceful coexistence between local communities and refugees. Food insecurity and malnutrition remain of concern to UNHCR and partners.

  • In northern Mali, after a short period of calm, rising insecurity and tension have led to the arrival of approximately 4,200 new Malian refugees since May 2014. Meanwhile, since the beginning of 2014, more than 6,700 Malian refugees living in Niger have returned home. Niger is currently hosting approximately 37,000 Malian refugees. While conditions do not support massive returns home, UNHCR will, in consultation with host countries and Malian authorities, provide refugees willing to return home with information on the situation in areas of origin, as well as repatriation assistance.

  • The deteriorating security situation in north-eastern Nigeria has caused several population movements into Niger, including refugees from Nigeria and citizens of Niger who were living in Nigeria and have returned. New arrivals are spread across hundreds of towns and islands on Lake Chad on a vast territory with a poor road network. Accessing these populations poses significant operational and security challenges, and is costly.

People of concern

The main populations of concern in Niger in 2015 are: Malian refugees who have fled violence in their country since 2012 and are living in camps, refugee-hosting and urban areas; as well as refugees (Nigerian nationals) and returnees (Niger nationals who were living in Nigeria) who have fled violence in north-eastern Nigeria since May 2013, are dispersed in more than 100 villages, and are hosted by the local community.

UNHCR 2015 planning figures for Niger
Type of population Origin January 2015 December 2015
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total in country Of whom assisted
by UNHCR
Total 58,380 58,380 43,220 43,220
Refugees Chad 140 140 - -
Mali 37,000 37,000 22,000 22,000
Nigeria 16,000 16,000 16,000 16,000
Various 180 180 180 180
Asylum-seekers Central African Rep. 10 10 - -
Chad 10 10 10 10
Côte d'Ivoire 20 20 20 20
Various 20 20 20 20
Others of concern Niger 5,000 5,000 5,000 5,000

| Response |

Needs and strategies

UNHCR's strategy in 2015 will focus on strengthening Malian refugees' self-reliance and resilience, though the organization will maintain adequate levels of assistance and protection for those who need it. As the situation in Mali stabilizes, and if conditions permit, UNHCR will support the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of approximately 10,000 refugees. The organization will also continue to enhance community empowerment and self-reliance for some 3,000 Niger nationals living in camps.

In the Diffa region, which hosts Nigerian refugees and Niger returnees, UNHCR will continue to offer basic emergency assistance, such as shelter, health, water, food and non-food items, as well as protection. It will also seek to boost socio-economic empowerment by strengthening basic social services. Where displaced populations are living with host communities, UNHCR will adopt an out-of-camp approach that will include the provision of land titles to beneficiaries and sustainable shelter solutions. Building the resilience of individuals and maintaining peaceful coexistence between the host community and the displaced population will be a priority for UNHCR and partners in 2015.

| Implementation |

Coordination

UNHCR is part of the Humanitarian Country Team in Niger and the lead agency for the multi-sector working group for refugees. The organization works closely with Niger's Commission nationale d'éligibilité au statut de réfugié, which is responsible for refugee status determination under the Ministry of the Interior. In the Diffa region, UNHCR will support the regional authorities to better address the critical needs of refugees and returnees. The organization will continue working with a wide range of partners, including UN agencies, NGOs and the Luxembourg Red Cross. Similarly, regional coordination will be strengthened by UNHCR offices and partners in countries affected by the Mali and Nigeria crises.

2015 UNHCR partners in Niger
Implementing partners
Government agencies: Commission nationale d'éligibilité au statut de réfugié, the Social Safety Net Unit, Regional Government of Diffa
NGOs: ACTED, Action pour le bien être, Adkoul, Caritas, CARE, COOPI, IEDA Relief, International Rescue Committee, the Luxembourg Red Cross, the Red Cross Society of Niger, Qatar Red Crescent Society, Save the Children International, Search for Common Ground
Operational partners
Government agencies: Cellule de coordination de l'aide humanitaire (Prime Minister's Office), local authorities in Bosso, Kabelwa and Mainé-Soroa
NGOs: Plan International
Others: FAO, ICRC, IOM, OCHA, PNUD, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHAS, WFP, WHO

| Financial information |

Since the onset of the Mali crisis, major investments have been made in emergency support for the relocation of refugees from the border and the construction and rehabilitation of camp infrastructure. In 2013, revised financial requirements reached some USD 56.5 million. Subsequently, the operational budget has gradually decreased to USD 41.6 million in 2014 and to USD 31.5 million in 2015, given the planned return of 10,000 Malian refugees in 2015.

Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2015 Update


UNHCR contact information

BUREAU DE L'UNHCR A DIFFA
Style of Address LE CHEF DE BUREAU DE L'UNHCR A DIFFA
Street Address QUARTIER CHATEAU BP 1220, PAMA : 90 227 01 2000 (Salle Télécom), Niamey, Niger
Mailing Address BP 12201 Niamey NIGER, Niamey, Niger
Telephone 4122 588 0915
Website http://www.unhcr.fr/pages/4aae621d481.html
Email NGRNI@UNHCR.ORG
Time Zone GMT + 8
Working Hours
Monday:08:00 - 17:30
Tuesday:08:00 - 17:30
Wednesday:08:00 - 17:30
Thursday:08:00 - 17:30
Friday:08:00 - 14:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
14 January 2014, Mouloud
21 April 2014, Easter Monday
01 May 2014, Labour Day
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
04 August 2014, Independence Day (observed)
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
07 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
18 December 2014, Republic Day
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
LE BUREAU DE L'UNHCR A ABALLA
Style of Address LE CHEF DE BUREAU DE L'UNHCR A ABALLA
Street Address QUARTIER ROUTE FILINGUE, S/C BP: 12 201, Aballa, Niger
Mailing Address S/C BP: 12 201 Niamey-NIGER, Aballa, Niger
Telephone 4122 739 7553
Website http://www.unhcr.fr/pages/4aae621d481.html
Email NRGNI@UNHCR.ORG
Time Zone GMT + 1
Working Hours
Monday:08:00 - 17:30
Tuesday:08:00 - 17:30
Wednesday:08:00 - 17:30
Thursday:08:00 - 17:30
Friday:08:00 - 14:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
14 January 2014, Mouloud
21 April 2014, Easter Monday
01 May 2014, Labour Day
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
04 August 2014, Independence Day (observed)
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
07 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
18 December 2014, Republic Day
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
Comments LocCity : Aballa
LE BUREAU DE L'UNHCR A OUALLAM
Style of Address LE CHEF DE BUREAU DE L'UNHCR A OUALLAM
Street Address QUARTIER GNAMASAL, S/C BP: 12 201, Ouallam, Niger
Mailing Address S/C BP: 12 201, Ouallam, Niger
Telephone 4122 588 0927
Website http://www.unhcr.fr/pages/4aae621d481.html
Email NGRNI@UNHCR.ORG
Time Zone GMT + 1
Working Hours
Monday:08:00 - 17:30
Tuesday:08:00 - 17:30
Wednesday:08:00 - 17:30
Thursday:08:00 - 17:30
Friday:08:00 - 14:00
Saturday:
Sunday:
Public Holidays 01 January 2014, New Year's Day
14 January 2014, Mouloud
21 April 2014, Easter Monday
01 May 2014, Labour Day
29 July 2014, Eid Al-Fitr
04 August 2014, Independence Day (observed)
06 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
07 October 2014, Eid Al-Adha
18 December 2014, Republic Day
25 December 2014, Christmas Day
Comments LocCity : Ouallam
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Statistical Snapshot*
* As at January 2014
  1. Country or territory of asylum or residence. In the absence of Government estimates, UNHCR has estimated the refugee population in most industrialized countries based on 10 years of asylum-seekers recognition.
  2. Persons recognized as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention/1967 Protocol, the 1969 OAU Convention, in accordance with the UNHCR Statute, persons granted a complementary form of protection and those granted temporary protection. It also includes persons in a refugee-like situation whose status has not yet been verified.
  3. Persons whose application for asylum or refugee status is pending at any stage in the procedure.
  4. Refugees who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013. Source: Country of origin and asylum.
  5. Persons who are displaced within their country and to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance. It also includes persons who are in an IDP-like situation.
  6. IDPs protected/assisted by UNHCR who have returned to their place of origin during the first six months of 2013.
  7. Refers to persons under UNHCR's statelessness mandate.
  8. Persons of concern to UNHCR not included in the previous columns but to whom UNHCR extends protection and/or assistance.
  9. The category of people in a refugee-like situation is descriptive in nature and includes groups of people who are outside their country of origin and who face protection risks similar to those of refugees, but for whom refugee status has, for practical or other reasons, not been ascertained.
The data are generally provided by Governments, based on their own definitions and methods of data collection.
A dash (-) indicates that the value is zero, not available or not applicable.

Source: UNHCR/Governments.
Compiled by: UNHCR, FICSS.
Residing in Niger [1]
Refugees [2] 57,661
Asylum Seekers [3] 84
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Stateless Persons [7] 0
Various [8] 35,166
Total Population of Concern 92,911
Originating from Niger [1]
Refugees [2] 733
Asylum Seekers [3] 432
Returned Refugees [4] 0
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) [5] 0
Returned IDPs [6] 0
Various [8] 35,166
Total Population of Concern 36,331

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Barbara Hendricks visits Malian refugees in Burkina Faso

UNHCR Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador Barbara Hendricks met with Malian refugees in Damba Camp on July 6, 2012, in northern Burkina Faso. The acclaimed soprano is using the visit to highlight the plight of tens of thousands of refugees who have fled from conflict in their country this year and are living in camps or settlements in neighbouring countries. As of early July, more than 198,000 Malians had fled to Mauritania (88,825), Burkina Faso (65,009) and Niger (44,987). At least 160,000 were estimated to be displaced within Mali, most in the north.

Barbara Hendricks visits Malian refugees in Burkina Faso

Malian refugees flee for safety to Niger

Thousands of Malian families have arrived in Niger since mid-January, fleeing fighting between a rebel Tuareg movement and Malian government forces in northern Mali. Refugees are living in makeshift settlements along the border, exposed to the sun and wind by day, and cold at night. UNHCR has started distributing relief assistance and is planning to open camps in safer areas further away from the border. UNHCR's Helene Caux met with some the refugees who all expressed their desire to return to their country once peace prevails.

Malian refugees flee for safety to Niger

Malians still fleeing to Niger

Malian refugees continue to arrive in Niger, fleeing fighting and general insecurity and political instability in their country. At the Mangaizé refugee site in northern Niger, some 3,000 refugees live in difficult conditions, bearing soaring temperatures during the day and wondering when they will be able to return home. The scarce water and food resources in the arid Sahel country also present a huge challenge for the refugees and local communities. More than 40,000 Malians have found refuge in Niger since January, when fighting erupted between a rebel Tuareg movement and Malian government forces. More than 160,000 Malians have arrived in Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, while 133,000 are displaced within their country. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres visited Niger, including Mangaizé, in early May with World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin to help focus world attention on the crisis and to seek help for the displaced.

Malians still fleeing to Niger

Malian refugees in Niger struggle to rebuild their lives

Some 60,000 Malian civilians have found refuge in Niger this year, fleeing fighting in northern Mali as well as political instability in the whole country. Most are hosted in three official camps - Tabareybarey, Mangaize and Abala. A significant number are living in spontaneous settlements. All are located in harsh arid countryside where life is tough despite the assistance provided by UNHCR and other aid agencies.

Children are the most vulnerable group, with some suffering from acute malnutrition. Older children are looking forward to resuming their education in a foreign land. Meanwhile, some 6,000 refugees are living in the Niger capital, Niamey, where many of them look for work so that they can send money back to relatives still in Mali.

Meanwhile, the future remains uncertain. Many people fear that continuing fighting inside Mali could lead to an accelerated exodus of refugees from Mali into neighbouring countries, including Niger.

The following photographs by UNHCR photographer Hélène Caux depict life for the refugees in Tabareybarey and Mangaize camps as well as in Niamey.

Malian refugees in Niger struggle to rebuild their lives

Thousands Start Afresh in Niger After Fleeing Nigeria

In May 2013, the Nigerian government, responding to a surge in violence in the north-east of the country, declared a state of emergency in the volatile states of Borno, Adawama and Yobe. Many people fled to neighbouring Niger's Diffa region and to the Far North Region of Cameroon. Fresh violence in January this year has forced thousands more to flee to both countries. UNHCR photographer Hélène Caux visited the towns of Bosso and Diffa in Niger's Diffa region shortly before the latest influx. She met some of the Nigerian refugees who had fled earlier waves of violence across the border. They told her of the violence they had seen, the losses they had suffered and their attempts to lead as normal a life as possible in Diffa, including sending their children to attend school. They are grateful to the communities that have welcomed and helped them in Niger.

Thousands Start Afresh in Niger After Fleeing Nigeria

Niger: Flight from Nigeria
Play video

Niger: Flight from Nigeria

People escaping the fighting between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram rebels get a friendly welcome in Niger.

Niger: New Arrivals in AroyouPlay video

Niger: New Arrivals in Aroyou

Among the more than 300,000 forcibly displaced Malians, more than 2,600 found shelter in Aroyou, Niger. Despite their ordeal, they took part in recent events to mark World Refugee Day.
Niger: New Camp in NigerPlay video

Niger: New Camp in Niger

A new tented refugee camp is under construction in Mangaizé, Niger. UNHCR is putting up family tents to replace the makeshift shelters that people have been living in for weeks.
Niger: A Silent CrisisPlay video

Niger: A Silent Crisis

The heads of UNHCR and the World Food Programme meet refugees from Mali in Niger's Mangaizé Camp and urge the international community to help them.
Niger: Flight from MaliPlay video

Niger: Flight from Mali

Since the troubles began in their country last January, more the 40,000 Malians have taken refuge in Niger.
Niger: Aid arrivesPlay video

Niger: Aid arrives

Desert Safety: Tuaregs and other refugees flee fighting and banditry in Mali; UNHCR provides emergency assistance
Niger: Going InlandPlay video

Niger: Going Inland

In Sinegodar, near the Mali -Niger border, thousands of people have arrived with little more than they could carry. The urgency is to move them to safer ground.
Niger: Escaping the Conflict in Mali Play video

Niger: Escaping the Conflict in Mali

Hundreds of families have crossed the border from Mali into Niger to escape the fighting in the northern part of the country.