News / Africa

WFP Doubling Food Assistance for Niger

Mother feeding her severely malnourished daughter at centre run by CONCERN and supported by WFP
Mother feeding her severely malnourished daughter at centre run by CONCERN and supported by WFP

Multimedia

Audio

The United Nations World Food Program is more than doubling the number of people it is planning to feed in Niger, as a food crisis caused by drought in the eastern Sahel continues to spread.

The World Food Program is now expecting to feed more than 1.5 million people in next month's general food distribution, along with specialized therapeutic feeding for 500,000 children under the age of six.

That is because poor rains last year have brought forward the time when people no longer have enough to eat.

"The lean season normally starts in Niger towards June and July and lasts until September or October, which is the harvest time. But this year because of the bad harvest last year, the lean season started much earlier," says Gianluca Ferrera, WFP's deputy director for Niger.

Last year's cereal harvest in Niger was 26 percent below the previous year. Primary schools in the southern Zinder region are now closing, as families abandon the area and head toward the capital in search of food.

Ferrera says internally displaced civilians are far harder to feed then those who stay at home. So relief officials are hoping farmers return to their fields once the rains begin.

"What we have observed since the beginning of the year is an earlier movement, a migration of people leaving the rural areas toward urban areas," said Ferrera. "Starting from end of May early June we should be having rains. And normally people return back to their villages to do the agricultural work in preparation for the planting season. So we do expect to see some reverse movement in the weeks to come. And we are getting prepared to assist those people in their place of residence and not in an urban setting where it would be much more complex."

WFP is trying to raise $182 million to scale up its operations in Niger. Although Ferrera says donor response has been good, it is not yet adequate.

"We still have a huge shortfall estimated at around 50 million dollars, roughly 45,000 tons of food that we still need to meet the urgent needs of the population until September," Ferrera adds.

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization is also stepping in to aid cattle herders in Niger and Chad. Livestock pastures are dry, so herders are selling their animals at lower prices to buy food for their families.

Eight FAO projects in Niger worth more than $12 million are aimed at helping two million people. In Chad, the organization will supply more than four-million-dollars worth of seeds, fertilizer and animal feed. The distribution of animal feed and veterinary products is also underway in Mali and Burkina Faso, with at-risk farmers and herders across the Sahel expected to need assistance at least through August.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More