World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Millions Face Hunger in W Africa: Urgent Aid Need

Millions Face Hunger in West Africa, Urgent Aid Needed, UN Food Agency Warns

New York, Jun 20 2005 10:00AM

Millions of farmers and herders in West Africa are threatened with hunger due to last year's drought and locust invasion, severe child malnutrition is reportedly on the rise and immediate aid is needed to prevent the crisis from deteriorating further, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said today.

“The situation is getting worse in the affected areas and unless aid comes now, hundred of thousands of people will be suffering the consequences for years to come,” the chief of FAO's Emergency Operations Service, Fernanda Guerrieri, said of the crisis which is especially acute in Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

“Farmers and herders who have lost their livelihoods because of drought and the locust invasion are living in poverty with very limited access to food,” she added.

Farmers need seeds and agricultural inputs immediately to ensure the October 2005 harvest. Herders depend on animal feed distributions and veterinary services to keep their weakened animals alive. FAO has appealed for $11.4 million for emergency projects in the region. Projects in some countries are already operational but more funds are urgently needed.

According to recent estimates, the sub-Saharan Sahel region as a whole registered a grain surplus of 85,000 tons, but Niger and Chad suffered grain deficits of around 224,000 and 217,000 tons, respectively. An increase in food prices is fuelling the food crisis, especially in Mali, Mauritania and Niger, where millions of people are at risk of food shortages, the agency said.

In Mauritania, FAO emergency projects are bringing assistance to hundreds of thousands of people.

Fortunately, the locust situation is expected to remain relatively calm this summer in West Africa and, contrary to last year, swarms from Northwest Africa are not likely to invade the region this year.

But in the most affected areas in Mali, Mauritania and Niger, access to food staples is increasingly difficult and severe child malnutrition is reported to be on the rise. The scarcity of water and fodder is seriously affecting the health of the cattle, camels, sheep and goats that are the only source of food and income for nomadic communities. Competition for limited resources has sometimes resulted in local conflicts.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC