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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid