Situated in the heart of the Sahel, Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. A rise in cross-border attacks with non-state armed groups targeting armed forces and community leaders has led to a deterioration in the security situation. Conflict in neighboring countries has also led to an influx of refugees. Niger is host to 230,000 refugees and 300,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) as of November 2020. These aspects have combined to cause significant humanitarian needs in the country that the state has limited capacity to address.
Also situated in the Sahel, Burkina Faso has experienced an unprecedented rise in violence and humanitarian needs since early 2019. The number of IDPs in the country has rapidly increased as the government struggles to contain the incursions and attacks of non-state armed groups. In January 2020, there were approximately 640,000 IDPs. As of 31 December 2020, it is estimated that there are more than 1,075,000 IDPs in the country and 20,000 refugees. This increase is expected to continue in 2021.
People we helped in Burkina Faso and Niger in 2020
In March 2019, NRC opened a country office in Niger to respond to the humanitarian crisis. Due to the emergency needs across the border in Burkina Faso, NRC began operations in July 2019 focusing our response in the Centre North region and later expanded into other provinces. Both countries are combined under one management to keep costs down and to facilitate synergies.
Our interventions include shelter, water sanitation and hygiene, education, livelihoods and food security, information, counselling and legal assistance.
Livelihoods and food security
Our livelihoods team are:
- supporting targeted households with income generating activities and reducing negative coping mechanisms
- supporting people living in displacement with negotiating access to land and distributing seeds and agricultural tools
- improving access to food and non-food items for the most vulnerable IDPs using the standard food ration value per household, through distribution of multi-purpose cash and food
- distributing small animals for livestock recovery
Shelter and settlements
Our shelter teams are:
- providing essential household items including kitchen sets, bedding, clothes, and mosquito nets
- providing complete shelter solutions either through temporary or transitional models
- conducting site-coordination activities, especially site planning, to enable the installation of shelters and minimum basic services, delivered by NRC or in coordination with other actors
- advocating on issues related to the establishment of new sites
Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
Our WASH teams:
- promote appropriate sanitation and hygiene in schools and communities and rehabilitate WASH infrastructures
- drill and install of solar powered water systems in IDP sites and host communities
- construct school latrines, family latrines and emergency latrines in IDP sites
Focusing on education in emergencies, we are:
- supporting the formal system to increase hosting capacity for IDP children
- providing adapted learning conditions to ensure the retention of students in schools
- conducting awareness raising campaigns within the schools to promote inclusive education, enhance social cohesion and peaceful cohabitation between displaced and host community children
- distributing education kits to improve the learning conditions of students
- constructing semi-permanent school blocks and repairing existing classrooms
- working to improve access to education in areas where schools are forcibly closed by armed groups, while protecting children from harm and promoting safe and inclusive learning environments
- providing vocational trainings for marginalised youth while promoting apprenticeships, mentoring and career guidance
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
We are assisting affected communities to:
- access information on legal civil documentation processes
- obtain the civil and identity documentation necessary to access rights and services
- understand and protect their housing, land and property right
NRC also leads the housing, land and property rights working group to build capacity and advocate with authorities, humanitarian actors and other stakeholders.
In 2020, NRC supported the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with the coaching of partner organisations and capacity building on camp management within the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) site in Niger.
About nrc in Burkina Faso
Country DirectorManenji Mangundu
Phone+226 65524302 / +227 92016774
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- Education Cannot Wait
- German Federal Foregin Office (GFFO)
- Centre for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP)
Covid-19 and conflict forced over 12 million children from school across Africa's Central Sahel region
A staggering 12 million children missed up to four months of school across Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger due to Covid-19 restrictions. Meanwhile, 776,000 children were prevented from attending school the entire year due to insecurity, new figures by the Norwegian Refugee Council have revealed.
Military intervention alone will fail to solve the Sahel crisis
President Emmanuel Macron invited the five G5 West African leaders to the French city of Pau in January to shore up support for international engagement in restive Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. All agreed that more European security support was needed to counter violent extremism in the Central Sahel.
G5 Sahel summit: Civilians should be the priority in military discussions
While countries responsible for the military response to the conflicts in the Sahel meet in France on 13 January, Action Against Hunger (AAH), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Oxfam warn about the insufficient humanitarian aid and lack of protection of civilians.