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Food Crisis in Niger Threatens Nomads with Extinction

An international relief agency says twelve centuries of nomadic culture in Niger are threatened with extinction due to the severe food crisis gripping west Africa.

In a report released Tuesday, London-based Oxfam says the nomadic Tuareg and Fulani peoples have lost, on average, 70 percent of their animals. The group says the situation is desperate, and immediate and sustained assistance is necessary to ensure the survival of the nomadic way of life in Niger.

Livestock is essential to nomads, who often travel hundreds of kilometers in search of pasture for their animals.

International food aid has began to flow into Niger, but the United Nations says its emergency operations in the impoverished country are dangerously under-funded.

Oxfam says $50 million is needed immediately to help the people of Niger survive until the next harvest in October.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

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