Food aid reaches over 200,000 people in Niger
Emergency food aid continues to reach thousands of people, including malnourished children, affected by the food crisis in Niger. As part of our second round of food aid, Plan brought 2,500 tons of maize to help some of the worst affected families and began distributing on July 19.
Along with a 1,000-ton acquisition from the World Food Program, Plan will have supported more than 200,000 people in Tillaberi and Dosso districts by the time distribution ends at the end of the month. The food was brought in by trucks from neighboring Benin.
In the Tidirka village Plan has begun distributing 110lbs of maize per vulnerable person. Aissa Bale, 86 years old, collected for the 10 people for whom she’s responsible. Aissa was overjoyed she was receiving the maize: “We’ve been going to bed with empty stomachs, now I’m going to make couscous and corn porridge.”
But there are many families still struggling. According to the UN, approximately seven million people are suffering from severe or moderate food insecurity, almost 50 percent of the population. Some children aren’t going to school because they are too hungry.
Nefissa Hamadou, 31 years old, has six children. Nefissa said: “Life is very hard, we’re suffering. We are going to have to sell our goats and sheep because we have no food left. We just eat one meal a day in the evening, corn porridge and a stew I make of leaves.”
Plan has already distributed 1,000-tons of cereal in Tillaberi, western Niger – helping some 73,000 people. The crisis stems from sporadic and irregular rains during the 2009 agricultural season. Late planting in many areas and failure of seeds to germinate in others, combined with a long dry spell, caused major disruptions in crop growth.