United Nations (UN) agencies have expressed concern that an absence of a humanitarian corridor in the Niger Republic is putting millions of people at severe risk.
After seizing power in July, Niger’s military junta announced a closure of borders and airspace.
Niger is home to more than 665,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of violence and attacks, according to the UN refugee agency.
Movement restrictions, following border closures, have left many already vulnerable — including refugees and asylum seekers.
On Thursday, Niger’s coup leaders announced the suspension of all non-governmental organisations, international watchdogs, and UN missions in the areas of military operations in the country.
In a statement on Friday, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) called for the urgent creation of a humanitarian corridor to ensure the delivery of the necessary aid to the region.
“IOM strongly advocates for the authorities to establish a humanitarian corridor to enable the organisation to organise the safe, dignified, and voluntary return of vulnerable migrants stranded in Niger to their countries of origin,” Christopher Gascon, IOM regional director, was quoted as saying.
Gascon said the corridor would “facilitate the delivery of aid” to the country’s regions affected the most by the recent events.
“More than 710,000 individuals, including refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons, are displaced in Niger,” he said.
The IOM said the border closures and airspace restrictions have triggered transformations in migration patterns.