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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs