Niger's International Office of Migration (IOM) announced the opening of a migrant information office in the town of Agadez in the Sahara to counsel potential migrants on how to travel safely.
The office, located in a hub of West African migration to Libya, Algeria and Europe, is funded by the European Union and U.K. Department for International Development.
“The main beneficiaries are migrants on their way to Libya and Algeria,” IOM Niger Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete. “The office is unique in that it does not just discourage people from leaving. It also plays a proactive role in reaching out to migrants coming back and sharing their information with those who want to go. It can help them to make better informed migration decisions.”
The office will point migrants to available legal migration channels and help to improve migrant understanding of risks and dangers associated with irregular migration.
“Niger is well known for its stability in the region,” IOM Council Chair Ambassador De Crombrugghe said. “These migrants in transit may generate new job opportunities and contribute to income generation and the national economy. But Niger still needs to meet the challenge of recording who is entering the country and their countries of origin, as many of them have no identity documents.”
Authorities believe that during 2016, between 120,000 and 150,000 migrants will leave Niger.