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By Godfrey Olukya 23-5-2013

Thousands of Nigerians fleeing from violence in their country are taking refuge in   neighboring  Niger where humanitarian organizations have started providing them with aid.
They have mostly been resettled in Diffa area in South-eastern Niger where they are being provided with emergency supplies and food aid by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Red Cross Society of Niger.
Over 2,400 people in Bosso, Kablewa, Tchoukoujani and Diffa yesterday  began taking delivery of emergency aid consisting of 45 tonnes of rice, beans, cooking oil and salt, and of a stock of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, sleeping mats, blankets, buckets, cooking utensils and clothing, which will cover their most urgent needs for approximately one month.’These people, most of whom are originally from Niger but settled in Nigeria some time back, in some cases decades ago, are completely destitute. They have been taken in by families that are sharing their meagre resources with them,’ said Jean-Nicolas Marti, head of the ICRC’s regional delegation for Niger and Mali. ‘Their situation is very precarious, and they urgently need help.’The Diffa area, where the families have taken refuge, was the scene this year of severe flooding that resulted in a considerable shortfall in agricultural production. ‘If population displacement were to continue at the current pace, or to increase, there is a risk that the delicate economic and food balance in the area could be destroyed, with consequences for the resident population,’ said Mr Marti.

Since September of last year, the ICRC has been helping some 400 nomadic Fulani families who fled the violence and insecure environment of the Maiduguri area of Nigeria to settle at various sites in Diffa.

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