At least 150,000 refugees seeking protection from attacks by Boko Haram in Nigeria now live in Niger’s Diffa region.
At the Assaga camp over 15,000 refugees live in difficult conditions and have been forced to sleep in makeshift shelters.
The influx of refugees has further strained one of the poorest nations in Africa, which is already struggling to feed and protect its people in a region that is recovering from drought.
Hamza Abdoulaye, a refugee said, ‘‘The food that we receive here is not enough to feed everyone. Only 400 people out of 1000 here get food, and that’s a big problem. But at least we have access to clean water, but our main problem remains getting food”
The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien has called for increased humanitarian efforts to maximize scarce resources and to ensure no one is left behind.
“I heard from the people here, who have important needs and need immediate assistance. It’s important for us to hear from them, so that we can get support from decision makers from all over the world ‘’ he said.
Niger’s Diffa region has suffered numerous cross-border strikes since last year by Boko Haram, whose stronghold in northeast Nigeria lies just a few kilometers away.
A state of emergency, which was first declared in Diffa in February 2015 has been extended by three months in a bid to boost security.
Niger, Cameroon and Chad have suffered a spillover of violence from Boko Haram’s northern Nigerian strongholds.