MSF denounces Algeria for abandoning thousands of expelled migrants in Northern Niger

International NGO “Doctors without Borders” denounced on Friday Algeria’s continuing expulsion of thousands of migrants who are abandoned in the desert of northern Niger without access to shelter, healthcare, protection, or basic necessities.

Thousands of migrants expelled by Algeria and abandoned in the desert (in the north) of Niger are stranded, without access to shelter, health care, protection or basic necessities, the NGO said in a statement referring to “an unprecedented” situation.

“Between 11 January and 3 March 2023, 4,677 migrants arrived into Assamaka,” the NGO noted, adding that fewer than 15% of them were able to access shelter or protection when they arrived.

The Integrated Health Centre (IHC) in Assamaka supported by MSF is “overwhelmed as thousands of migrants are seeking shelter in the facility.”

“The majority of people who have recently arrived in Assamaka have settled in the IHC compound, due to a lack of space in the transit centre,” said Schemssa Kimana, MSF project coordinator for Agadez, quoted in the statement.

According to Kimana, there are people sleeping in every corner of the facility. Some have set up makeshift tents at the entrance or in the courtyard. Others are camping in front of the maternity ward, on the roof, or in the waste area.

Temperatures in Assamaka – an arid town – can reach 48 degrees Celsius, so people seek refuge from the heat wherever they can find it. This has led people to sleep in very unhygienic places, such as waste areas, which can expose them to health risks including contagious diseases and skin infections.

The lack of available shelter forcing people to sleep in these conditions is appalling. This situation is now an emergency – it is untenable for anyone to remain living in these conditions.

About Khalid Al Mouahidi 4385 Articles
Khalid Al Mouahidi : A binational from the US and Morocco, Khalid El Mouahidi has worked for several american companies in the Maghreb Region and is currently based in Casablanca, where he is doing consulting jobs for major international companies . Khalid writes analytical pieces about economic ties between the Maghreb and the Mena Region, where he has an extensive network