Operation: Opération: Niger



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
100% of people of concern are registered on an individual basis
100% of people of concern have access to primary health care
100% of people of concern have access to HIV services
80% of primary school-aged children enrolled primary education
1,990 people of concern were evacuated from Libya to Niger, with 1,190 resettled to third countries
2019 planning figures
100% of people of concern registered on an individual basis
100% of Malian refugees have improved access to primary health care
100% of Malian refugee children under 12 months old are issued birth certificates by the authorities

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 386,978
2017 315,723
2016 302,227


[["Refugees",175418],["Asylum-seekers",3555],["IDPs",156136],["Returned IDPs",24727],["Others of concern",27142]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[44.15721094,49.767155435,51.18816609,82.54923247,92.78381448,75.97191579],"expenditure":[26.55522036,27.8804749,25.34641563,36.29079634,52.53936455,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[44.15721094,46.858700085,46.54393827,73.06699146,79.23937398,57.18555079],"p2":[null,0.25436852,0.94422782,0.685411,0.73349771,0.91654101],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,2.65408683,3.7,8.79683001,12.81094279,17.86982399]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[26.55522036,25.69854914,20.99749897,28.9698051,47.77936734,null],"p2":[null,0.25079906,0.72452801,0.3408654,0.26129653,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,1.9311267,3.62438865,6.98012584,4.49870068,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational context

People of concern faced a volatile security situation in Niger that stems – in part – from the eruption of violence in Mali starting from 2012, and in Nigeria, with impact of the conflicts affecting Niger, and the socio-economic fabric of host communities. However, despite the sensitive security situation in the region, the Government of Niger maintained a favourable refugee protection environment in 2018, with a generous asylum policy.

Niger took a protective stance towards refugees in the context of mixed movements across the Sahara. A unique emergency evacuation transit mechanism (ETM) was established in partnership with UNHCR, providing for the evacuation of detained refugees in Libya to Niger. The main objective of the ETM is to ensure that people in need of international protection have access to asylum through effective refugee status determination procedures, assistance and durable solutions.

Since 2018, the increasing destabilization in southern Libya pushed back over 1,600 asylum-seekers to Niger, essentially in Agadez. These asylum seekers are mainly of Sudanese nationality. UNHCR continued to identify people of concern among mixed movements towards Libya in Agadez.
Furthermore, some 24,460 migrants of various nationalities were expelled from Algeria to Niger.  

The Diffa region was marred by insecurity in the Lake Chad Basin, and the spill over effects of the conflict generated by Boko Haram. In 2018, regional authorities expressed plans to relocate all refugees from the villages along the border with Nigeria to the camp, due to increasing perceptions that refugees were being used by insurgents to infiltrate communities. Since 2013, the volatile situation in the region has also resulted in internal displacement.

Recurrent fighting between non-state armed groups, military forces and ethnic groups in northern Mali has spilled over to Burkina Faso and Niger. Armed groups’ activities in north-western Niger led to the internal displacement of over 55,000 people in Tahoua and Tillaberi regions in 2018. The operational environment in this region is thus mixed, with IDPs and refugees living in the same communes, with often similar needs. Given the unpredictability of the context, UNHCR stressed the importance of integration and strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus.

Population trends

The number of people of concern in Niger stood at 362,250 at the end of 2018. This represents a 17% increase from the end of 2017.
At year-end, there were some 175,420 refugees in Niger, with some 118,870 refugees from Nigeria, 55,540 refugees from Mali and smaller numbers from various countries.
The number of IDPs increased from 129,020 at the beginning of the year to 156,140 at the end of the year. The IDPs were residing mostly in Diffa, Tahoua and Tillaberi regions.
Furthermore, some 25,730 returns to Niger were recorded. These are citizens of Niger who had settled in Nigeria, but were forced to return back home due to the Boko Haram insurgency.

Key achievements

  • The Government’s refugee status determination capacity was strengthened with UNHCR’s support, particularly through, training, providing equipment and office building.
  • As a protection priority, UNHCR promoted peaceful coexistence between people of concern and host communities, with no major incident reported in 2018.
  • UNHCR continued an innovative urbanization program in areas hosting Nigerian and Malian refugees aiming at assisting their integration in local communities

Unmet needs

Due to funding constraints, the Operation was not able to fully complete the following envisaged activities:
  • The systematic delivery of refugee cards based on biometric data.
  • The construction and/or rehabilitation of irrigated perimeter for vegetable production in order to enhance production capacity of persons of concern and increase their self-reliance.
  • Support the enrolment of 500 new refugee students in secondary and tertiary school.

Working environment

Although Niger is a stable country, it is surrounded by conflict-affected countries. The operational environment is challenged by the increased insecurity near the border region with Mali and in the Diffa region. Furthermore, the mixed movements that transit through Agadez have required UNHCR to identify asylum-seekers among the migrants. Chronic food insecurity, drought, floods and other challenges further weaken the already fragile country.
UNHCR is working with the Government to look for alternatives to camps and improve the socio-economic integration of refugees. To the extent possible, basic services are provided through national systems. UNHCR is developing a comprehensive urbanization program to secure access to land for housing, including securing the right to land titles in the Diffa and Tillabery regions and in host communities.
Two central elements of UNHCR's coordination mechanisms and partnership framework in Niger are: strengthening multi-stakeholder partnerships to assist the host country in providing assistance and protection to IDPs, and strengthening refugee self-reliance. Emphasis is placed on working with authorities at the national and local levels to facilitate the progressive socio-economic inclusion of refugees and IDPs, and utilizing the productive capacities of refugees and IDPs by helping them to access education, housing, land, livelihoods, and services.
UNHCR has developed a multi‐year and multi partner strategy which reflects the operation’s vision for the next three years. This strategy is linked to key national development plans and will build on on-going discussions with key strategic partners.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
Mali Situation
  • Strengthening the targeted assistance (particularly livelihoods) to refugees in accordance with their levels of  vulnerability and capacity;
  • Continuing socio-economic integration through the integration of basic services (water, health, education) and out-of-camp (urbanization) into national systems;
  • Maintaining emergency response capacity.
Nigeria Situation
  • Maintaining efforts under protection, protection mainstreaming, and the recording or documenting of forcibly displaced people;
  • Support authorities in finding solutions and rehabilitation/development;
  • Strengthening cross-border coordination with other UNHCR operations who are working in the  Nigeria Situation;
  • Improving the normative framework for IDP management.
Mixed Movements
  • Supporting the Nigerien authorities in strengthening the normative framework and improving the fluidity of the refugee status determination process and, more globally, the assistance and protection of people in need of international protection in the framework of t mixed movement;
  • Strengthening outreach and communication channels to the people of concern to UNHCR;
  • Strengthening the partnership framework with IOM;
  • Advocating international protection and solutions to be taken into account in mixed movement, including resettlement and the provision of legal alternatives to irregular migration.
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

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  • Oman

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  • United Arab Emirates

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  • Kuwait

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  • Saudi Arabia

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