Niger: free food distribution against hunger

Niger announced on Thursday that it has conducted a free distribution of thousands of tons of food to farmers affected by crop failures across the country.

Hadari Zeinabou Garba, a member of the Prime Minister’s office, told the press that a total of 270.6 billion CFA francs (more than 412 million euros) would be included in a “support plan” for “vulnerable” populations. hurt”.

The first batches of distribution have begun in the Tillabéri region (west), near Mali and Burkina Faso. In total, the distribution of 42,900 tons of grain, which runs through August, will benefit 1.5 million people in eight regions of the country.

According to the authorities, July and August correspond to the so-called “lean season”, dividing the end of consumption of the previous year’s harvest with the following harvest, and during this period, the The granary is usually empty. The United Nations estimates that 17% of Niger’s population will need humanitarian aid this year.

Acute malnutrition affects more than 12% of children by 2022, a number higher than the 10% emergency threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

As a very arid country of more than 22 million people, Niger frequently suffers from severe food crises mainly due to drought.

But as of 2021, many farmers are unable to farm their fields due to bloody attacks by jihadists linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS) group, causing production to fall. cereals decreased sharply.

NGOs explain the growing increase in people in urgent need of aid by “population movements” in the regions of Tillabéri and Tahoua (west), Diffa, in the southeast near Nigeria where Boko Haram and the State in West Africa

Province (ISWAP), then Maradi (south-central) was affected by the actions of armed robbers from Nigeria.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Niamey, as of June 30, Niger had 358,185 internally displaced people fleeing violence.

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