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31 July 2010

The billboard propped up at the side of the dusty road offers what the land it stands on cannot provide : a sack of grain, the top prize in an advertising campaign sponsored by a mobile phone company. (..) "These are very high levels of child malnutrition, the situation is bad," said Gianluca Ferrera, deputy director for the UN world food programme (WFP) in Niger. "The loss in harvest last year was worse than expected, and the lean season started earlier than anticipated for a larger share of the population. "In some areas, there is a 50% malnutrition rate for children under 2. Many of these children will not survive."


29 July 2010

The U.N. World Food Program has extended food aid to eight million people in Niger, but aid workers say the program still needs funding and assistance may come too late for some families hit by severe food shortages. International aid workers say a deepening food crisis is threatening 10 million people across the eastern Sahel, including seven million people in Niger.


28 July 2010

The International Federation of the Red Cross just posted this video about one woman's day to day struggle to survive the food crisis in Niger. The World Food Program declared it an emergency operation in which millions of people risk starvation. So far, though, the international response has been weak.


23 July 2010

United Nations agencies have united to issue a joint appeal for more funding to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Africa (..). United Nations agencies- FAO, OCHA, UNICEF and WFP-, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have all warned of the dire conditions. Donors have contributed millions of dollars, allowing agencies to undertake therapeutic feeding to children, food aid as well as veterinary products and seeds distribution, food-for-work and cash transfer programmes, with the sole aim of saving lives and livelihoods.


21 July 2010

The United Nations sounded the alarm over drought-stricken Niger on Tuesday as the World Food Programme (WFP) doubled aid operations and the U.N. appeal for the west African country was raised to $371 million. (..) OCHA, the U.N. agency which is coordinating the aid effort, announced it was raising the target of the global appeal to $371 million. Less than a week ago it upgraded the original appeal size to $253 million from $191 million, citing a growing risk of disease and death.


20 July 2010

U.N. officials are pleading for immediate economic assistance for four African countries where people are facing malnutrition in the wake of a drought last year. (..)"We're in the long stretch between last year's harvest and the one coming up," said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the World Food Programme, via telephone from Niger. "We have now six weeks until it is agreed we will be out of the severe danger zone and the ramp-up has to happen not in a few weeks but now, before this very difficult time," Sheeran said.


20 July 2010

Over the past six months, the levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in the Sahel belt of West Africa have increased at alarming rates, putting over 10 million people at risk across the region - particularly in Niger and Chad. (..) Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), who is currently in Niger, called in to the U.N. Headquarters to make a further appeal. "Donor support is crucial at this stage," she stressed.


20 July 2010

The executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Josette Sheeran, arrived in Niger on Tuesday at the start of a tour of three African countries where the agency is carrying out humanitarian programmes. A WFP statement said the visit was on emergency food assistance in Niger, money and food distribution in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and support for small peasant farmers within the framework of an initiative called 'Buying for progress' in Uganda.


20 July 2010

The United Nations' emergency food agency said Tuesday it was stepping up aid to Niger, describing drought in the Saharan country as an "unfolding catastrophe" for millions. "We are struggling against time to scale up quickly enough to reach the escalating number of hungry," said Josette Sheeran, executive director of the Rome-based World Food Programme.


20 July 2010

The United Nations World Food Programme is nearly doubling aid operations in Niger to feed 8 million people who have lost crops and livestock in a severe drought. "The drought in Niger is an unfolding catastrophe for millions of people," WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran said on Tuesday.