Niger’s hunger crisis: a legacy of lessons unlearned

By Samuel Loewenberg The Lancet 2010;376:579-81

Niger is facing a catastrophyic hunger crisis as aid agencies scramble to secure funding to feed more than half of the country’s 8 million people.

The report states that months of appeal to the international community for help fell on deaf ears, leaving Niger facing the all too familiar spectre of a major hunger crisis. This hunger crisis precipitated by a lack of rains last year, followed by a bad harvest and deterioration in livestock could have been prevented or been less severe if international donors had given earlier and in larger amounts according to the report.

The crisis has resulted in 1 million children under-five years having acute malnutrition. An average of 7000 children are being brought to therapeutic feeding centres each week up from 3000 a week a few months ago. In some areas of the country acute malnutrition rate for infants is more than 20%.

Full details of the report can be downloaded from the Lancet

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