The accident occurred at a youth and culture centre in Diffa, the main town of a region of the same name that hosts more than a quarter of a million refugees and internally displaced people.
“Unfortunately, fifteen women and five children died… in this regrettable drama,” Issa Lemine, the regional governor of Diffa, said on television after visiting the injured in hospital.
Aid workers confirmed the death toll and said about 10 people had been injured.
It hosts 119,000 Nigerian refugees, 109,000 internally-displaced people and 30,000 Nigeriens who have come home from Nigeria because of the instability in its northeast, according to UN figures released in October.
The aid being distributed had been given by Babagana Umara Zulum, the governor of Borno state in northeast Nigeria, a Nigerian official told AFP.
He had come to the region to visit camps for refugees and the displaced, and had already left the town when the stampede occurred.
Zulum visited three sites housing more than 100,000 Nigerian refugees — camps at Bosso, Garin-Wazan and Toummour.
In addition to a crisis sparked by jihadist violence, Diffa is also battling floods caused by the Yobe River, which delineates part of Niger’s border with Nigeria.
The floods have left more than 20,000 people without shelter, according to the local authorities.
They have also devastated rice and pepper fields, whose harvests provide the backbone of the local economy.
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