Niger coup: NRC assisting civilians

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) set up operations in Niger in March 2019 to respond to the accelerating humanitarian crisis in the Liptako Gourma region, an area covering Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. Operations were also set up in the south of the country to support the influx of refugees from Nigeria.

Now, with the current military escalation, the humanitarian crisis is expected to deepen.

“We are deeply concerned about the spiralling situation in Niger,” says Jan Egeland, Secretary General of NRC. “We cannot overstate the impact on civilians, both in terms of humanitarian and protection needs, when military imperatives take precedence over civilian governance.

“Niger has the youngest and one of the poorest populations on Earth. Already prior to the coup, one in six people needed humanitarian assistance.”

Our teams are on the ground supporting the affected population in the following ways.

Legal assistance 

Our information, counselling and legal assistance programme targets internally displaced people, as well as refugees who have fled to Niger from Mali, Nigeria and other countries. The programme helps individuals and families to access their rights by resolving matters relating to housing and land, as well as legal identity, especially with children born in refugee camps.

The programme also enables vulnerable Nigeriens who host those who have fled their homes.

In 2022, our legal experts supported 12,202 people to obtain birth certificates. 16,502 people benefited from awareness-raising sessions on the relevant themes of civil documentation and land property rights

“My children now have their birth certificates and can continue their education thanks to NRC,” says Ali, an internally displaced person from the Tillabéri region or Niger. Photo: Elizabeth Adewale/NRC


NRC is a driving force behind the right to education for children and young people who have been forced to flee their homes. We provide basic formal education as well as education in emergencies. We also enable certain children to access alternative schooling, and provide education and training to young people to help them access the job market.

We build classrooms, provide teaching materials, equip classrooms with tables and benches, and ensure that pupils have the psychosocial support they need.

For children and young people who have missed school, the programme offers intensive courses so that they can catch up with their peers.

Our education team supported more than 31,000 children and young people in 2022. In addition, close to 200,000 children now benefit from psycho-social support in their school environment through specialised trainings of teachers provided by NRC in 2022.

Fatchima, an education facilitator at an NRC school, provides activities for children to help them overcome traumatic expériences. Breathing exercises, singing, dancing and drawing are all part of the daily activities in her classroom, which help to improve academic performance. Photo: Elizabeth Adewale/NRC

Jobs and access to food

Living without enough food is the reality for many displaced people in Niger, as well as for the communities who host them. It is estimated that right now, 3.3 million people are acutely food insecure in Niger.

Through the distribution of cash, NRC facilitates immediate and increased access to adequate food and other basic needs.

We also support the revival of individual livelihoods by providing training in farming techniques, cattle rearing and awareness on renewable energies and environmental protection.

We enabled close to 23,000 people to access food and an income last year.

Hamsatou, who has survived the loss of both her home and her husband, smiles after receiving goats from our livelihoods team. Photo: Elizabeth Adewale/NRC

Our vital work in Niger is continuing right now, despite recent events. Support our work in Niger and around the world.