News / Africa

Niger Threatened by Food Insecurity

World Food Program doubling its estimate of number of families in Niger who need food assistance

Across the Sahel, more than ten million people are affected by poor rains that have led to the collapse of agricultural and livestock production in many parts of Chad, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso. In Niger, 60 percent of the population is facing severe food shortages.

At the Karakara II primary school in Niger's southern Mirriah district, women are registering their children for a feeding program for all children between the ages of six months and two years.  This will be their first food distribution since last year's poor rains cut Niger's cereal harvest by one-quarter and drove up the price of millet nearly 40 percent.

The United Nations World Food Program is doubling its estimate of the number of families in Niger who need food assistance.  WFP is now targeting more than 1.5 million people for a general food distribution and 500,000 children under the age of six for specialized therapeutic feeding.

Djimadoumngar Doumbaye, who heads WFP operations in the regional capital,  Zinder, says there are many schools in the region that have fewer students because families have taken their children elsewhere in search of food.

WFP has stocks of rice, sugar, salt, oil and beans in Zinder.  But, overall, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says it has less than a third of the $190 million it needs to respond to the crisis in Niger.

Doumbaye says this region is at risk, if other resources are not delivered.  He says WFP is ready to address food insecurity here.  But, as far as targeted feeding is concerned, the amount of food held by both WFP and the military government's national security stock is insufficient to meet the needs of most of the vulnerable population.

In the Mirriah district, children under two will receive a four-month ration of sugar, oil, and a nutritionally-rich blend of corn and soybeans.  This registration also allows aid workers to gauge the level of malnutrition by measuring the size of children's arms.

The program is being run by the local aid group Karkara.  Youssifi Midou Bawa is Karkara's director of technical operations.

Bawa says when children come to the center, they are measured to see who is malnourished.  Children who are severely or moderately malnourished are then referred to the local medical center where they receive supplemental feeding.

The U.N. children's agency says at least 200,000 children in Niger face severe acute malnutrition that will require hospital treatment.

In a region where malnutrition is affecting more than one-quarter of the population, Bawa says the 50,000 registration cards they have will cover only half of those who need help finding food.  

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid