Standing with the people of Niger

By Rotimy Djossaya, Country Director, CARE International Niger

Last week, I departed from Niamey, the capital city of Niger for a very special three day trip. Together with members of Niger’s Humanitarian Country Team, the Minister of Humanitarian Actions, Laouan Magagi and the UN Under Secretary General and Regional Coordinator for Sahel, Toby Lanzer we travelled to the Diffa region. We wanted to talk to communities, refugees, displaced people and local authorities to observe the emergency response and to assess the remaining humanitarian needs.

Daily life in Diffa remains difficult for thousands of people. Recurring attacks have caused them to live in fear for more than two years now

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled from their homes, the economy has been disrupted and increasing numbers of people are malnourished as food is scarce.

The hardest hit people in all the sites we visited were women, children, youth and the elderlyEntire villages had been emptied of their residents. Fields sit untouched and people cannot access basic necessities such as water, health services and education. More than 400,000 people are in need of emergency food assistance.

CARE and other humanitarian organizations have scaled up their work during the current lean season from June to September, but the needs remain great due to the ever changing situation. Safety and financial issues are limiting our humanitarian teams’ ability to reach those most in need. Let me give you the facts: about half of the food needed for the rest of the year will not be covered if additional funding is not received.

During my stay in Diffa, I visited some spaces for children supported by CARE. I am really encouraged by the positive environment created for children and their families. To hear children’s voices, to see them play and forget their fears for a while makes me happy and proud of our work.

Everyone can make a difference in the lives of these refugees, returnees, displaced and host families who are continually affected by the violence. I call out for your solidarity with the brave people in the Lake Chad region who have welcomed those displaced by the attacks: let's act now to save lives and help people rebuild what they have lost!

“Despite difficult living conditions, lack of sustainable income and basic necessities, thousands of families continue to care for those who have even less”, Toby Lanzer, UN Under Secretary General and Regional Coordinator for Sahel, said during our meetings in Diffa. “People in the Lake Chad region are an example of humanity that should be an inspiration for us all.”

About CARE in Diffa, Niger:

CARE has been working in Diffa Region of Niger since 1998 and remains fully committed to continue to provide assistance to affected people and support the developments efforts as part of our overall Lake Chad Basin Strategy. CARE started its operations in Niger in 1974.

Donate to CARE's Emergency Response Fund, which allows us to be able to respond to crises as soon as they happen.