On 2 April, more than 250 people were found near Madama, a settlement on the northeast frontier of Niger bordering Libya, abandoned by human smugglers due to the Covid-19 emergency.

The people, mainly from Nigeria (104), Ghana (53) and Burkina (34) were assisted by IOM Niger, who facilitated their transport to Agadez, together with the Nigerien Civil Protection. People will be accommodated in the local stadium to complete the 14 days of quarantine.

IOM expressed concern for the significant number of people still arriving to Niger, despite the lockdown imposed by the Government. The measures include the border closures, curfews and travel bans within the country and 14 days of compulsory quarantine for those crossing the national borders.

People are assisted in six transit centres in Niger in the framework of IOM’s Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration supported by the European Union.

People are set to be returned to their countries of origin through IOM’s “Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration program” (AVRR).

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Photo: (CC) Nicolas Raymond, April 2012

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.