Caritas Niger says there have been several deadly attacks by Boko Haram militants recently, forcing thousands to flee their homes in Niger and neigbouring Nigeria.
Elvine, 37, paid 6,000 Euro to people smugglers to make the tough journey through the desert from Cameroon to Libya, passing through Chad, Niger, Mali and Libya. She was heading for Tripoli where a family friend had offered to give her refuge.
Caritas says people fleeing Boko Haram fighters are facing a “tragedy” in Niger. Tens of thousands of people are living under trees or out in the open after escaping from their towns and villages in the wake of the fundamentalist insurgent advances.
There are four million people who are desperately hungry in Niger now after poor rains which affected the harvest. If we don’t do anything, that will double to seven million within two months. That’s half the population of the entire country.
CADEV, Caritas Niger is working in four camps helping 18,000 Malian refugees. They fled there after rebels seized the north of Mali last year, triggering a flow of refugees in Africa’s Sahel region. Caritas Niger is registering an increase of refuges since the French military intervention in January.
The president of Caritas Mali, Archbishop Jean Zerbo of Bamako, has asked for a humanitarian corridor to be opened to help those who have found themselves cut off by the conflict. Caritas is helping families in Mali cover their basic needs by providing food, shelter and help with healthcare and school fees.