Niger

Niger is affected by violence and displacement around its border regions, which are part of the central Sahel and the Lake Chad basin.

Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali share a border region in the central Sahel where state and non-state groups operate against a backdrop of high levels of poverty, climate change, rapid population growth, and increased competition for dwindling resources.

Southeastern Niger is part of the Lake Chad Basin, where violence that began in Nigeria in 2009 spread. The region was already extremely vulnerable due to social inequalities, poverty, poor infrastructure and recurrent droughts. MSF runs health programmes throughout Niger. 

Niger has made remarkable progress in cutting under-five mortality over the past decade, but malnutrition and malaria remain as the primary causes of childhood death. 

Niger

In 2013, the Lake Chad region began to be gripped by a serious humanitarian crisis. Around the shores of the lake, in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad, hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee their homes to escape fighting between military forces and armed groups. The MSF teams provided relief to hundreds of thousands of people living in precarious conditions, in shelters made from straw, without access to drinking water or healthcare, and with no food, resources or water and sanitation. © Lobes / MSF

MSF in Niger

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a range of projects in Niger to address the significant medical needs caused by conflicts, displacement, food insecurity, child malnutrition and epidemics.

Niger MSF activities
Child mortality

Niger has made remarkable progress in reducing under-five mortality over the past decade, but malnutrition and malaria – the leading causes of death among children – remain widespread. We conduct targeted paediatric programmes, support community health workers, and build the capacity of public facilities, especially during the ‘lean season’ between harvests, which coincides with the rainy season and the peak of malaria. 

Community health workers

MSF supports community health workers in more than 40 villages in the Maradi region, representing hundreds of villages throughout Niger. Community health workers are particularly active during the peak malaria season and provide early detection and treatment of uncomplicated malaria as well as screening for malnutrition.

The recent increase in health promotion and community activities in the region has resulted in a 25 per cent reduction in admissions for severe and complicated malaria cases in the health facilities we support. 

Migration

Despite the closure of borders due to COVID-19 and the anti-migration law, the flow of migrants has not decreased in Assamaka, in northern Niger. On the contrary, many migrants continue to use the desert passageways, hoping to reach Europe via Algeria and Morocco. But many do not make it across this line. They are arrested, tortured, stripped and deported with military force by Algerian guards close to the border at Assamaka. In this remote desert, our teams run activities to support abandoned and lost people on the move.

Outbreaks

We are also at the forefront of responses to epidemics in Niger. Our teams organise annual vaccination campaigns against measles and meningitis when necessary, and are also on hand to respond to cholera outbreaks.

Refugees

In Niger, we support various health centres and provide general and specialised care to host and refugee communities, mainly in the Tillabéri region. We also organise mobile clinics to provide medical and mental health consultations and distribute essential household items to refugees.

Due to limited access to healthcare and intensified violence in northwestern Nigeria, we are also seeing an increasing number of sick and malnourished children from Nigeria in MSF-supported facilities in the Maradi region. 

Our activities in Niger in 2022

Niger stats
Highlights of our activities in Niger in 2022

In 2022, our teams carried out mass vaccination campaigns, distributed drinking water and relief items, such as hygiene and cooking kits, constructed shelters, and ran mobile clinics for displaced people in Diffa and Tillabéri regions.

In the second half of the year, Niger was hit by devastating floods, which affected hundreds of thousands of people. As well as running mobile clinics and distributing relief items to displaced people, we helped boost bed capacity in Niamey regional hospital.

We also supported the health authorities’ responses to outbreaks of measles and meningitis in Zinder, Diffa and Tahoua regions. During the peak malaria period, due to the exceptionally high number of patients requiring inpatient care in Magaria, we constructed two observation rooms in Tinkim and Yékoua health centres.

In Madarounfa district, we provide care for children with sickle cell disease, which includes vaccinations, antibiotics to prevent and treat infections, pain medications and blood transfusions. In 2022, to better prevent and manage severe complications of the disease, we introduced treatment with hydroxyurea, a drug listed by the World Health Organization as essential for haemoglobin diseases in children but still difficult to access in Niger.

In addition, we offered medical and nutrition care to children with malnutrition, malaria and other childhood diseases in Madarounfa hospital and five health areas in Maradi. As a result of our partnership with the health authorities and the World Food Programme, dedicated to treating children with moderate acute malnutrition, the number of hospital admissions for malnutrition was the lowest in four years.

The two-way flow of migrants over the Niger-Algeria border continued unabated in 2022. Thousands were deported by the Algerian authorities and stranded in the desert. MSF denounced the inhumane treatment of migrants expelled from Algeria and Libya, and called on authorities to take immediate measures to respect human dignity in border control.

Médecins Sans Frontières has been working in Afghanistan since 1980, providing emergency surgical care, responding to conflict and natural disasters, and treating people cut off from healthcare. 

MSF worked in Angola from 1983 until 2007. Why were we there? Armed conflict Endemic/Epidemic disease Social violence/Healthcare exclusion

MSF worked in Argentina from 2001 until 2003. Why were we there? Providing essential medicines and supplies

MSF worked in Belgium from 1987 to 2009

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease Social violence/healthcare exclusion Natural disaster

Why are we there? Endemic/Epidemic disease

Cameroon is facing multiple and overlapping crises, including recurrent epidemics, malnutrition due to food insecurity, displacement, and conflict.

Why are we there? Armed conflict Endemic/epidemic disease Healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Armed conflict Healthcare exclusion Natural disaster

The political, economic and military crises of 2002-2010 have taken a severe toll on the Ivorian health system.

MSF worked in Ecuador until 2007. Why were we there? Endemic/Epidemic disease Natural disaster

Find out more about MSF's work in Egypt

In France, we work with migrants and refugees, who encounter policies and practices aimed at preventing them from settling or claiming their rights.

Why are we there? Healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Armed conflict Endemic/epidemic disease Social violence/heathcare exclusion

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease

Haiti’s healthcare system remains precarious in the wake of natural disasters and ongoing political and economic crises. Ongoing disasters have led to Haiti becoming the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Honduras has experienced years of political, economic and social instability, and has one of the highest rates of violence in the world. This has great medical, psychological and social consequences for people.

An MSF team in Hong Kong opened a project at the end of January focusing on health education for vulnerable people. Community engagement is a crucial activity of any outbreak response and in Hong Kong, this focuses on groups who are less likely to have access to important medical information, such as the socio-economically disadvantaged. The team is also targeting those who are more vulnerable to developing severe disease if they are infected, such as the elderly.

MSF worked in Indonesia between 1995 and 2009 Why were we there? Natural disaster

Find out about MSF's work in Iran

Why we are there? Healthcare exclusion Natural disaster

Why are we there? Natural disasters

Jordan hosts over 700,000 refugees, according to the UNHCR, many of whom reside in camps or have settled in the country.

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease Healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Healthcare exclusion

Although health services are being progressively restored in Liberia, important gaps persist, notably in specialised paediatric care and mental health.

Libya remains fragmented by a decade of conflict and political instability. The breakdown of law and order, the collapse of the economy, and fighting have decimated the healthcare system.

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease Natural disaster

Access to medical care remains very limited in the north and centre of Mali due to a lack of medical staff and supplies and spiralling violence between armed groups.

Why are we there? Access to healthcare

In Mozambique we are responding to emergencies including disease outbreaks, providing care to people with advanced HIV, while also working in the conflict-ridden Cabo-Delgado province.

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease Social violence/healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Providing comprehensive emergency healthcare to people in remote regions of Pakistan is a priority, yet accessibility and security are a constraint for both Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and patients.

Why are we there? Armed conflict Healthcare exclusion

MSF worked in Rwanda from 1991 until 2007.
Why were we there? Conflict Healthcare exclusion Endemic/Epidemic disease

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease Healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Armed conflict Endemic/epidemic disease Healthcare exclusion

Why were we there? Endemic/epidemic disease Healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Refugee assistance

Why are we there? Healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Armed conflict Endemic/Epidemic disease Healthcare exclusion

Why were we there? Healthcare exclusion

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease

Why are we there? Endemic/epidemic disease Social violence Healthcare exclusion