Thursday, March 16, 2023 at 10:25 PM
Niamey (Niger) – Médecins sans frontières (MSF) condemned on Thursday the “abandonment” of thousands of migrants expelled by Algeria, currently in the town of Assamaka in the Agadez region in northern Niger.
“Thousands of migrants expelled from Algeria and abandoned in the desert of Niger (in the north) are suffering without shelter, health, protection and basic needs,” the NGO underlined in a press release “unprecedented situation” .
“Between January 11 and March 3, 2023, 4,677 people arrived on foot in Assamaga in displaced situations,” the NGO notes, “less than 15% of whom were able to benefit from shelter or protection upon arrival.”
The Integrated Health Center (CSI) in Assamaka, where MSF “distributes non-food items” and offers “free health consultations”, is “overcrowded”.
“Most of the people who have recently arrived in Assamaka have settled in the CSI compound because there is no space in the transit centre,” MSF coordinator in Agadez, Schemssa Kimana, was quoted as saying in the press release.
MSF points out that they are “sheltering from the heat,” which can reach “48 degrees Celsius” in Assamaka, sleeping in “makeshift tents” and even “in front of the maternity ward, on the roof or in the waste area.” .
In “unsanitary” places, these people are exposed to “health risks such as infectious diseases and skin infections,” notes MSF.
Jamal Mirouch, head of MSF’s mission in Niger, is fueling a situation that “will require an urgent humanitarian response from ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States),” most of them according to the same source.
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