July 7, 2011
October 14, 2010
The food situation has been stabilised in the Sahel region, especially in Niger where the number of people at risk of malnutrition fell from more than 60% to around 6% over the last months. Now, it is crucial to take further action at this point, says Raymond Younoussi Yoro, Secretary General of Caritas Niger. How is currently the situation in terms of food security in Niger? Mr. Yoro: There has been considerable improvement in the food security over the last months. According to recent statistics, there are now 68 vulnerable areas in Niger, and only 11 in a critical state, compared to 211 vulnerable areas in December 2009. We are optimistic considering the upcoming harvest. It should be quite good. However, 6 percent of the population remain at risk, especially in some regions in southern Niger that have suffered from rodent plagues. What kind of problems remain? Mr. Yoro: We are very worried about the situation [...]
July 28, 2010
By Lane Hartill, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Habsu Boubacar has got used to being hungry. The burning stomach, the blurred vision, the joint pain: Habsu has learned how to work through aches, how to force herself to go on. Growing up in Toudoun Jaka, a sand-blasted village full of skeletal cattle and bone-thin dogs that slink through the sand, Habsu learned how to cope. She learned how to mix water and millet husks—the stuff she normally feeds to the goats and sheep—and make a sludgy drink. She learned how to gulp the brown, gritty stuff so the bitterness doesn't sit too long on her tongue. She got used to the feel of it in her stomach; it fills a space, so she can feed the real food to her four kids. What she hasn't got used to is anza. The plant is “famine food” and only the hungriest donkeys would nibble at it during [...]
Nigeriens ran out of food months ago, now the situation is desperate. Half of the people in this landlocked West African nation now don’t have enough to eat. People are eating leaves and livestock feed in order to survive. While hunger in Niger is nothing new, this year is particularly bad. Rains failed last year and in some areas, almost nothing was harvested. Nigeriens have been forced to sell off their livestock, basically their “savings”, before the animals die. In the face of this crisis, Caritas is distributing food, putting people to work and helping those in the greatest need. As cattle die and nutritional centres fill up with hungry and sick children, there’s no surer sign that the people of Niger desperately need your help. Read the story of how hunger has taken hold of the lives of Habsu Boubacar and her four children.