Hunger in the news

20 July 2010

Agency urges international community to take urgent action on the crisis In response to an announcement by the World Food Programme (WFP) today (July 20th) that it is scaling up its operation to provide aid to 8 million people in Niger, Kirsty Hughes, head of advocacy for Oxfam in Dakar, said: “This move by the World Food Programme underlines the sheer gravity of the food crisis gripping Niger and the rest of the Sahel, but concerted efforts are needed to ensure these plans are implemented urgently and aid gets to those that need it most.

19 July 2010

Despite the ongoing massive humanitarian calamity, there has been scant attention paid to the food crisis in Niger. So, I thought a discussion about the Niger food crisis might be a good opportunity to kick off a new multi-media interview series in which I talk to experts about under-the-radar news items. Moments ago, I spoke with Anna Horner at the World Food Programme's regional bureau in Dakar, Senegal. She describes the nutrition and food crisis in Niger, how it came about, and what can be done to stave off further disaster.

15 July 2010

The United Nations rural development arm is helping to improve agricultural programmes in West Africa’s Sahel region, especially in Niger, which is currently in the throes of a growing food crisis. (..) Earlier this month, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced that it was scaling up its operations in the country. “We’re doubling the size of our operations and ramping up already significant interventions, to take even swifter action to protect these children,” said Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the Rome-based agency.

12 July 2010

Relief workers in Niger say malnutrition rates for children under age five have reached emergency levels. A deepening food crisis in the eastern Sahel threatens nearly half of Niger's 14 million people. (..) The United Nations World Food Program has announced it will double the amount of people receiving food aid in Niger to 4.5 million and increase supplementary feeding for children under age two and their families. The WFP has called for an additional $100-million to ramp up its program.

9 July 2010

To the north of Niger, the creeping Sahara; to the south, oil rich and agriculturally lush Nigeria – this nation straddles the Sahel – dry, hot and cruel. (..) Again, the people of Niger are playing the waiting game – waiting for rain and for an autumn harvest; waiting for the UN and the World Food Programme to get their sums right and attract the donations to pay for the food aid; or waiting for the world to add Niger to the desperate list of Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea.

7 July 2010

Severe drought has struck in Niger and the resulting food shortages have sent child malnutrition rates soaring. For any country, a child acute malnutrition rate over 15 percent is considered an emergency. In Niger, the rate is currently 16.7 for children under five. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is responding with additional aid. Josette Sheeran, the WFP director, announced, "We’re doubling the size of our operations and ramping up already significant interventions, to take even swifter action to protect these children."

7 July 2010

A deepening food crisis in the eastern Sahel threatens half of Niger's 14 million people. The International Federation of the Red Cross says it needs an additional $3.3 million to provide much-needed assistance. (..) The Red Cross has been on the ground since March in the Tahoua, Diffa and Zinder provinces of southern Niger. Working with the U.N. World Food Program, the Red Cross says it has distributed food to more than 12,000 people and plans to reach another 100,000 by mid-July.

5 July 2010

The food crisis in Niger is deteriorating faster than expected and could cost the lives of a generation, the head of the World Food Programme (WFP) said on Friday. Josette Sheeran, executive director of the organisation, said the brains and bodies of children under five will be damaged for life if they don't have adequate nutrition. The drought-stricken Sahel region in West Africa - encompassing Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Mali - is facing dwindling food supplies and high prices at market.

2 July 2010

The World Food Program has declared its work in Niger an "emergency operation" after a survey found a sharp rise in malnutrition rates among young children. WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella says 16.7 percent of children under 5 years old suffer from acute malnutrition in the African country. Children under 3 are particular affected.

2 July 2010

Giving out cash rather than food is a quicker way to help the growing number of hungry in Niger as it will avoid delays related to distributing food, aid groups say. (..)Food, much of it imported from neighbouring countries, is available to buy in village markets. But the problem is many in the agriculture-driven economy can't afford it as the drought has hit their sources of income - farming and livestock. (..) In response to the worsening situation, the World Food Programme said this week it aims to help an additional 2 million people, on top of the 2.3 million they are already assisting, and will also focus on boosting nutrition for children under two. This will require an extra $100 million in funding, the U.N. agency said.