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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:21 PM
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UN warns of humanitarian crisis in Niger
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 09:22 PM by ElsewheresDaughter

THE west African nation of Niger is suffering an acute humanitarian crisis in which children are dying because the world community has ignored appeals for urgent aid, the UN humanitarian chief said yesterday.

Jan Egeland said 2.5 million people in Niger are in desperate need of food, including 800,000 children who are malnourished.

Some 150,000 of those children "will die very soon because they are severely malnourished unless we really get to step up our operation".

Meanwhile, humanitarian groups warned that rains and high crop prices have left millions suffering severe foot shortages across Africa.

Diminishing water supplies and dry pastures also were fuelling conflict among rival tribes, and child malnutrition was reportedly rising in parts of the Greater Horn of Africa region, said the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network.

The food shortages were concentrated in Ethiopia, where more than half of the 18 million affected lived, the report said.

At least half of neighbouring Eritrea's population of 4.5 million was in peril, as well as 2.69 million in Uganda, the report said.


Landlocked Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, was devastated by an invasion of locusts that ate everything green last year and was then hit by drought that lasted until earlier this month, Mr Egeland said.

The UN first appealed for assistance for Niger in November and got almost no response. Another appeal for $16 million (13.2m) in March got about $1m.

The latest appeal on May 25 for $30m dollars has received about $10m, but "it's still too little", he said.
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