DOCUMENT TAGS Start Response
MERF Project Summary - Alert 11 Niger (Essential needs not covered)
27 February 2018
The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF), funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), was established in January 2017 in partnership with the 15 member representatives of the Start Network present in the region.
The MERF allows member organisations to react to a significant change of needs, or provide assistance to previously unidentified vulnerable groups. Its aim is to address the unpredictable nature of the mixed migration crisis across the Mediterranean that exacerbated an already difficult operating context for aid workers and made it difficult to plan for a response.
On September 4th, 2017, Doctors of the World (DOTW) raised an alert as a result of Algeria’s recent resumption of deportation of migrants from Niger to the Nigerien northern region of Agadez which faced, intermittently over the following weeks/months, influxes of Sub-Saharan migrants arriving on convoys mostly departing from Tamanrasset, Algeria, and travelling through Assamakka to Agadez. During the intervention period, DOTW responded to 9 deportation waves in which 4178 people arrived in Agadez in construction trucks that were chartered by the Algerian and Nigérien authorities on their side of the border respectively.
Due to the short duration of the migrants’ stay on the arrival site – often no longer than 24 hours - DOTW was unable to cover 100% of the arrivals. DOTW supported the Regional Disaster and Food Crisis Prevention and Management Committee, and the Agadez Health District in setting up a medical screening and treatment mechanism. This was comprised of medical and psychological screening units, second line medical care units and non-food items (NFI) and food distribution units.
Social workers held various group and individual sessions that aimed to sensitise deported migrants on issues such as disease prevention (diarrhoea and malaria), body and environmental hygiene and stress related coping mechanisms. Survivors of gender based violence were, when detected, referred for psychological and/or adapted assistance.