News / Africa

Food Crisis Threatens Millions in Niger

Erratic rainfall and attacks from insects have contributed to the worsening situation

Nomads look on as hungry cattle are fed in a local market in Dakoro, Niger (File Photo).
Nomads look on as hungry cattle are fed in a local market in Dakoro, Niger (File Photo).

Multimedia

Audio
Ricci Shryock

More than three million people in Niger are at risk of severe food shortages in what could be a looming humanitarian crisis, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies West Africa branch.

Per Becker, the Regional Disaster Risk Management Coordinator for the Red Cross’ Dakar office, said the situation is expected to get worse. “The numbers of people that we are expecting being malnourished is just increasing all the time," he said. "We are now seeing over three million people facing hunger and food insecurity for this lean period. The lean period is mainly between April and August, but this year it comes early because of the failed harvests they’ve had.”

Erratic rainfall and attacks from insects have contributed to the worsening situation, Becker added. Socio-economic factors such as rising costs of food also play a big role in malnutrition. “Even if you have sufficient food production in the country, some families cannot afford it when the food prices increase 25-30 percent.”

Catholic Relief Services Director of Emergency Operations, Bill Canny, was recently in the Niger towns of Tolkobey and Sangare, where he visited with families to get their feedback on the situation. He recalled the story of one father:

“He was probably about 45 years old, and he was in the village of Tolkobey, and he said that this year his family with their small plots was able to harvest nothing," said Canny. "What he does, every year, even when they do harvest, is go to Nigeria, where he works as a dock worker. Every year, last year particularly, he was able to send back a sack of millet a month. Because of the insecurity in the region, in Nigeria, he couldn’t go to Northern Nigeria - now, he’s unable to leave and use that as a fall back for his family."

Canny added that next harvest season hopefully cash-for-work and seed distributions can help people get back on their feet, but in the immediate future short-term needs of many in Niger are pressing.

“In the short-term in order to try and keep them in place, we need to work with the government and other NGOs to get some subsidized foods into the areas,” said Becker.

The Red Cross added that besides Niger – Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso and areas of Senegal are also at risk of a measure food crisis if measures are not taken.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid