Meeting challenging logistical needs in Niger – a look back on 2020
Above: Maintenance of the fleet at the Niamey logistics base
The presence of jihadist groups in the Sahelian sub-region and persistent inter-community conflicts within Niger have made it so that the central African nation was home to over 440,000 Persons of Concern as at the end of 2020 (UNHCR report). This number includes roughly 180,000 refugees, and poses a truly difficult challenge for a country which struggles to even meet the basic needs of many of its own citizens and was ranked at the bottom of the 2020 UNDP Human Development Index.
Persons of Concern (PoCs) in Niger include in particular Malian refugees, Nigerians, Sudanese, other nationalities, asylum seekers, internally displaced populations and returned Nigeriens.
Faced with this enormous humanitarian situation, a comprehensive multisectoral response continued in 2020 with AIRD being tasked with the relocation of Nigerian refugees present in the villages of Dan Kano, Tankama, Bassira, Elguidi, Tchadi and Dan Dela, in the Maradi region.
Out of an estimated 62,000 people assisted by UNHCR in the area, more than 9,521 refugees were transported by AIRD to the villages of Garin Kaka, Chadakori and Dan Dadji Makaou as part of a relocation exercise. Those relocated are able to benefit not only from easier access to basic social services such as water, health, education, etc., but also through empowerment from income-generating activities and other livelihood projects driven by UNHCR. This protection solution also makes it easier to care for people with specific needs.
With recurrent security crises occurring at almost all border points of the country, AIRD also transported refugees who had deserted the Intikane Reception Zone in May 2020 in the Tahoua region. 1,353 refugees, nearly 850 tons of personal effects of PoCs, 350 tons of shelter kits, 36 tons of NFIs, 132,000 liters of drinking water and other materials were delivered safely and securely.
Additionally, Niger is home to asylum seekers resulting from migratory flows to Europe via Libya and Algeria. AIRD is involved in the transport of food and non-food items distributed to this group at the Agadez Humanitarian Center, at the Migrants site in Hamdallaye, Tillaberi region and in the city of Niamey. The logistical support given to our partners has enabled this population group to receive some basic social services and improve their living standards.
Through water-trucking, transportation and subsequent distribution of drinking water by AIRD to nearly 25,000 PoCs in the Sayam Forage camp, the residents were able to have continuous access to this precious commodity.
AIRD’s participation in the execution of the UNHCR Country Operational Plan for 2020 through; efficient maintenance and repair of UNHCR assets, warehouse and fleet management, and the continuous development of a dedicated, efficient staff made an important difference in the lives of those displaced in this region. The team has, and will, continue to deliver these all important services throughout 2021.