The instability in the Liptako Gourma region of the Central Sahel has triggered significant displacement in communities in the three bordering countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. This complex crisis is fueled by multiple interrelated risk factors, including growing competition over scarce resources, climate change, poverty, lack of livelihood opportunities, communal tensions, demographic pressures, and violence related to organized crime and Non-State Armed Groups. It has led to the death of an estimated 5,000 people in 2021 and has triggered the displacement of more than 2 million individuals throughout the affected countries. However, even as humanitarian and development needs continue to escalate, there is evidence that some displaced persons are returning to their areas of origin or habitual residence, while others face prolonged displacement, including individuals displaced in Northern Mali that left their areas of origin more than a decade ago in 2012.
In order to find durable solutions for internal displacement — whether through return to communities of origin, local integration, or relocation — and to prevent new displacements in the region, it is critical to understand the relative levels of stability in locations hosting returnees or displaced populations. Therefore, IOM has launched the Stability Index (SI) to evaluate and seek to understand which factors influence a location's stability, which can inform priority programmatic interventions along the humanitarian, peace and development nexus in order to strengthen the resilience and stability and prevent future forced displacements. This report presents the results of Stability Index assessments in Niger and Mali.