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


UN Making Progress In Food Crisis In Niger

UN Making Progress In Food Crisis In Niger, But Raises Alarm Over Malawi

Although food assistance is finally coming into Niger after an initially slow response, the United Nations emergency relief coordinator today raised the alarm over a looming crisis in the southern African country Malawi where some 4.2 million to 4.6 million people will be facing food insecurity by the end of the year.

“We are trying also now to bring out early warnings for Malawi…we already see that 45 percent of children under five are stunted due to malnutrition, diarrhea and other diseases. Twenty-two percent are clearly underweight,” Jan Egeland, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, told a news briefing today in UN headquarters in New York.

And even in Niger, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) expressed concerns today about signs of a slowdown in support as world attention waned.

Mr. Egeland said that the international donor community and the United Nation were now making significant progress with efforts to get assistance to the needy in drought-stricken Niger where food crisis has put nearly 3 million people are at risk.

He said the UN system has thus far received $40.4 million of a total donor appeal of $80.9 million and to date UN agencies have delivered some 6,000 tons of food to Niger, which has been racked by drought and, more recently, locust infestations which have led to an estimated third of its more than 11 million people suffering severe food shortages.

In addition, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is supporting 10 (non-governmental organizations) NGOs which are operating 156 nutritional centres, he said.

“We wish we’d had this programme before, but we see great strides ahead now and the Secretary-General’s visit has helped to focus international attention on the need for long-term assistance for full security in Niger,” Mr. Egeland said.

And in Niger, World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director Jean-Jaques Graisse said that food distributions continued to move across the worst affected parts of the country. But he urged the international community not to turn its back on the continuing suffering even as financial support for its emergency operations showed worrying signs of trailing off.

Despite the surge of support following international television broadcasts chronicling the desperate plight of many young children in Niger, WFP has received only two donations in the past two weeks, and its emergency operations remain less than 50 percent funded, with $29.6 million still needed, Mr. Graisse told a press conference in the Nigerien capital Niamey.

“We need to keep Niger on the map,” Mr. Graisse said. He said WFP was working with NGOs and a coalition of donors to reach nearly 2.7 million people – many of them children – in urgent need of food aid as the annual “hunger season” peaks.

Lukewarm response to the country’s plight led Secretary-General Kofi Annan earlier this week to make a trip to the country where he met with its President, Mamadou Tandja, visited a hospital, a feeding centre and the UN country team.

Before departing, he issued a call to the international community to provide both immediate help and assistance in formulating a long-term strategy, taking into account neighbouring countries in the sub-Saharan Sahel region which are also suffering from the consequences of drought and the worst locust invasion in 15 years.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



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>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC