Niger Main Host Country for Voluntary Return Worldwide with 66,700 Vulnerable Migrants Returned to their Countries of Origin since 2019

Since 2019, IOM in Niger has facilitated the voluntary return of over 66,619 migrants in vulnerable situations to their countries of origin. Photo © IOM Niger 2023.


Niamey – Since 2019, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Niger has facilitated the voluntary return of over 66,619 migrants in vulnerable situations to their countries of origin, positioning Niger as the main host country for voluntary return worldwide.

The migrants, originating from 30 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, were voluntarily returned via 335 charter flights, 122 commercial flights, and 145 land convoys organized by IOM. In 2023 alone, 13,039 migrants received assistance for voluntary returns from Niger, and 15,067 individuals were assisted in IOM seven transit centres located along migration routes in Niger, in the Agadez and Niamey regions. Of these migrants, seven per cent were children and five per cent were women.

IOM Niger, through its Migrant Response and Resources Mechanism (MRRM) provides critical support tailored to migrants' needs in its transit centres, including shelter, food, water, healthcare, psychosocial assistance, legal assistance, liaison with consular representatives for travel documentation, and voluntary return to their countries of origin. The MRRM also provides returning migrants with sustainable reintegration ensuring economic self-sufficiency, social stability, and psychosocial well-being while equally addressing the needs of the receiving communities.

“Despite challenges like the COVID-19 crisis and recent political unrest causing border and airspace closures, IOM has provided a safe and dignified route for migrants to reunite with their families and rebuild their lives in their home countries,” says Idrissa Somparé, IOM Chief of Mission a.i. “These returns would not have been possible without the support of our partners, including Niger and the countries of origin who ensured that the well-being of migrants remained at the forefront of our efforts.”

Niger holds a unique position as a country of origin, transit, and destination for intraregional migration movements. With its extensive 5,697-kilometer border shared with Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Benin, Libya, Algeria, Nigeria, Niger is at the crossroads of migratory routes in the region, bridging Sub-Saharan Africa with North Africa. IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix in Niger, between 2019 and 2023, observed 308,258 incoming migrants, 1,221,360 internal migrants, and 2,252,124 outgoing migrants.

These returns were made possible with support from the European Union, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Italy, who have been funding IOM Niger's Migrant Response and Resources Mechanism since 2019.


For more information, please contact Aïssatou Sy,, Tel: +227 80 06 65 31

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being