New York, NY, December 15, 2020 — The International Rescue Committee condemns yet another senseless attack on civilian populations by armed groups in the Diffa region of Niger on 12th December. The IRC has mobilized its teams in Niger and stands ready to assist displaced populations with shelter kits and basic household goods for immediate use.
Paolo Cernuschi, IRC Niger Country Director said:
“We are appalled at the barbaric nature of this attack. Not only were 28 civilians killed; but 800 homes were burned and livestock on which people depended, were also slaughtered. Civilians should never be a target, and this fundamental principle must be upheld in conflict situations by all parties. IRC stands with the people of Niger and remains committed to its core mission of delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance in the region, even in the face of rising insecurity.”
The Lake Chad basin is already one of the most insecure regions in the Sahel and has been reeling from years of food insecurity, weather shocks, violence and extremism. Violence has displaced over 260,000 people in Diffa alone since 2009 and in 2019, civilian deaths in the Niger region rose by a staggering 2400% compared to 2016.
The IRC has been working in Niger since 2013. We support displaced populations and local communities in the Diffa, Tillaberi and Agadez regions and play a leading role in the rapid response mechanism in Niger. We provide vulnerable populations with cash transfers, food vouchers and agricultural support, and protection programs for women and children. The IRC’s health response includes screening and treating severely malnourished children and providing health care centers with essential equipment and medicine. Learn more about IRC’s Niger response.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.