Golpe in Niger. COOPI's humanitarian projects continue
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02-08-2023 | di COOPI

Golpe in Niger. COOPI's humanitarian projects continue

In the aftermath of the 26 July coup d'état against the government of the democratically elected president Mohamed Bazoum, the Niger population and the foreign community in the country are experiencing a stalemate.

Here in Niamey there is a surreal situation, as if nothing had happened. Shops and banks are open as usual, buses are regular, no soldiers are to be seen on the streets. Our projects have not stopped. All public offices are open

says Morena Zucchelli, COOPI's head of mission in Niger.

COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale has decided not to stop its projects and to continue operating in the most fragile areas of the country, to provide assistance to the populations affected by the incessant humanitarian crises. Four Italian expatriates working in Niger have chosen to return to their country, while the rest of the international staff (11 Italians and 5 Africans), together with the 350 local staff members, continue to carry out the various activities in the field, remaining attentive to the evolution of the political scenario.

Out of fifteen Italian COOPI operators in Niger, there are 11 of us left. We are here to respond to the needs of the local population, which have not disappeared overnight but remain very much present

says Valentina Tamai, in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation of COOPI's programmes in the country.

COOPI opened its first projects in Niger in 2012, dealing with Food Security and Nutrition initially in the Tillabery region, and later in the Dosso region (since 2017), an area extremely affected by the consequences of climate change. Since 2015, it has been based in the region of Diffa to provide assistance to displaced people with Protection, psycological support, and non-formal education support projects. On the border with Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Nigeria, Niger receives large numbers of migrants, refugees, and internally displaced persons both from neighbouring countries and as a result of attacks by non-state armed groups (SNAG) in the Tillabery and Tahoua region. Since March, COOPI has been one of the few NGOs present in Assamaka, in the Agadez region, where thousands of people have been stranded following refoulement by Algeria.

Today in Niger COOPI helps 1,879,190 direct beneficiaries with its 17 projects, together with different international NGOs and local partners, most of them in emergency situations.