Nigerians among 36,000 new refugees in Niger, others- UN
The United Nations Refugee Agency has said more than 36,000 refugees fled from Nigeria, Mali and Burkina Faso to Niger between January and mid-April 2022.
The agency said, it brought the total number of refugees in Niger to 360,000.
According to a report by Yahoo, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said it is “concerned by these rising numbers as attacks on civilians prompting displacement increase in both frequency and violence.
UNHCR representative, Emmanuel Gignac, was quoted as saying, “I’m afraid that we will be getting regular influxes into Niger for as long as there is trouble in the countries surrounding us”.
UNHCR said Nigerian refugees are fleeing increased looting, expropriation of property, assault and kidnapping by armed bandits in Katsina and Sokoto States “while displacement from Burkina Faso is caused by ongoing and spreading insecurity”.
“The refugees, mostly women and children, need shelter, food and water, non-food items and access to basic services such as healthcare and education.
“The fact that they are arriving and settling in some of Niger’s driest areas makes their situations even more precarious.
“Food prices have risen dramatically in Niger. The ongoing food security crisis triggered by a poor 2021 farming season is putting further at risk already vulnerable refugees and local communities alike”, the agency said.
Niger, especially the Diffa border region with Nigeria is prey to attacks from Nigerian jihadist groups Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province.