Over the last few decades IOM has grown to be one of the primary international actors in the provision of Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI) to displaced populations. IOM plays a strong role in the Global Shelter Cluster and in 2018 alone IOM’s Shelter and NFI projects were able to reach 4.1 million individuals globally.
In Niger, IOM is the Co-lead of the Shelter and NFI Working Group, where IOM works in direct collaboration with the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management to coordinate the response of the Shelter and NFI Working Group partners.
Shelter and NFI are two essential aspects of responding to humanitarian emergencies, whether they are a result of natural disasters or conflict. Owing to the prevalence of Violent Extremist Organization’s (VEOs) in and around Niger there are several hundred thousand people living across the country who are either internally displaced or are refugees from neighboring states. Furthermore, the habitual flooding that accompanies the annual rains leaves thousands more vulnerable to displacement.
The content of Shelter and NFI kits is context specific and guided by assessments that are carried out with affected communities to determine their needs. Considering that many among the beneficiaries of this assistance live a nomadic lifestyle, shelters are designed to be easily packed and transported to an alternative location. A typical NFI kit in Niger will contain blankets, mosquito nets, hygiene kits, sleeping mats, jerry cans etc. In addition, wherever possible IOM commits to buying locally sourced materials.
In 2019 alone, over 6,900 emergency shelters were distributed by IOM in Niger, accompanied by a further 400 transitional shelters and 6,307 NFI kits. In total, IOM was able to reach 62,870 individuals with emergency assistance in 2019.
IOM's emergency operations take place in the southern and western regions of Diffa, Maradi, Tillabéry and Tahoua.