News / Africa

Aid Agencies Launch Hunger Appeal for Niger

Multimedia

Audio
Natasha Saini

Niger is grappling with an acute food crisis and nearly a million children in the country are malnourished of which at least 200,000 are on the brink of starvation.

Click to Listen:

Download/Play Audio File


Aid agencies say Niger is facing a hunger and malnutrition crisis and UK-based groups such as Oxfam and Action Against Hunger are calling on the international community to step up efforts to raise the over $100 million in assistance funding needed by Niger.

Etienne Du Vachat from Oxfam spoke to VOA from Niger; he says inadequate or delayed funding could have dire consequences.

"The international donors, they should really commit and quickly disburse, this quick disbursement will be key in the capacity of the world humanitarian community to respond to the needs which are huge and our partners on the field are very very concerned," said Du Vachat.

Vachat says aid groups in Niger have been issuing warnings for months.  

Guido Borghese is an aid worker in Niger with the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF. He says the situation is particularly grave for the children.

"From now to the end of 2010 at least 200,000 cases of acute severe children malnutrition," said Borghese. "It means that the children are sick because of lack of food or also because of other diseases. And these children need to be treated and if they are not treated correctly, then their life will be in danger."

Africa's Sahel
Africa's Sahel

Niger is one of Africa's poorest nations, ranking at the bottom of the United Nation's Human Development Index. And situated in the Sahel region, Niger is constantly under threat from drought conditions.

Borghese says severe drought conditions over the past years have only exacerbated the situation.

"Droughts during the previous rainy season .. resulted in the problems in [not having sufficient] grass for animals," Borghese adds. "That is one of the main resources for the people in rural areas and for this reason people are suffering for lack of food. This is also linked to the poverty of the people in this area."

Aid workers agree drought and poverty have proved a vicious circle.

Etienne Du Vachat from Oxfam says that there is almost a two-thirds deficit in the amount of food needed for livestock. As a result, he says, many farmers are being forced to leave their homes and move to towns in search of work and money to survive.

"In some villages, up to 30 percent of the population was forced to leave their villages, their home, not only men, but also the entire families, to go to either neighbor countries like Nigeria or the urban center in Niger to search for jobs, a daily work," Vachat said.

The British government's aid and development agency, DFID, has earmarked almost $30 million to mitigate the hunger crisis in Niger and neighboring Chad. Aid groups have also launched emergency responses. They say they are advising farmers on how to cope with dwindling food for their livestock, running cash for work programs, helping build cereal banks and distributing seeds and food to the poorest.

You May Like

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid