Two weeks today - it's Monday here in London - I returned from Niger. Al Jazeera had begun carrying a series of reports from the country which warned that the severe hunger in the country was at risk of tipping into a full blown famine. (..) The United Nation's World Food Programme now officially backs what the people told us. They say half the country's population, 7.3 million people - are in desperate need of food. (..) The WFP has appealed for $213 million in emergency aid, but is 40 per cent short of its target.