Niger: Conflict has no borders

  • Thousands of people who have fled the conflict now face a severe shortage in safe drinking water.
  • Water is a scarce resource for the thousands of displaced people and refugees who have fled the fighting in Nigeria. To avoid the queues at wells, some villagers in Toumour are taking the risk of drawing water from a pond where their livestock drink. To provide more people with clean drinking water, the ICRC is drilling five new boreholes.
  • An ICRC nurse checks on a patient receiving intravenous rehydration. The patient had been transferred from a displaced people’s camp to a health centre in Bosso. The health centre takes care of over 160 displaced people every week, as well as treating the local population.
  • Maina M'Bodo is a 60-year-old herder. He has two wives and 10 children. His family owned around a hundred cows that they used to graze on the islands on the Nigerian side of Lake Chad, before the fighting forced them to move. “It happened in April last year. We’d only been in Niger for three months. The rebels attacked us and killed five members of my family, including one of my children. They took all our cattle. By taking my cows, they’ve taken my life.” When the family arrived in Yebi, near the border with Nigeria, the village chief gave them some land to set up home. “I sell straw now and my wives earn a living by grinding millet for the locals.”
  • Toumour, a village around 80 km from the town of Diffa, has remained relatively unscathed by the violence. Thousands of displaced people and refugees have sought safety there. But the rising population and the lack of water has led to increasing tensions. The ICRC has dug new wells, but the wait for drinking water can take several hours.
  • Bororo girls at the market in Bosso near the border with Nigeria. The conflict and associated lack of security have caused the local economy to crash and severely hampered cross-border trade, fishing, irrigated agriculture and nomadic herding. In an area where climatic conditions are already precarious and options limited, people are turning increasingly to aid. In Bosso alone, the ICRC is providing almost 25,000 people – nearly a third of the population – with emergency food aid every month.
  • An ICRC surgeon, nurse and anaesthetist carry out a skin graft in Diffa Regional Hospital, Niger. Because of the ICRC’s support, victims of armed conflict don’t need to go to the capital –over 1,000 km away – for an emergency operation.
03 May 2016

In the Diffa Region of Niger, tens of thousands of refugees and displaced people are living in harsh conditions because of the fighting in neighbouring Nigeria. Countless civilians have been killed in violent raids in the region since February 2015.

Local communities – already struggling with economic hardship and a series of droughts – are finding it hard to cope. The economy has been in a state of collapse since cross-border trade with Nigeria all but dried up. Agricultural output, which is concentrated around Lake Chad, has plummeted owing to the risk of attack.

Alongside our partners in the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, we have been coming to the aid of the people in the region since the start of the crisis.

"Everywhere for everyone." Visit the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day website.