Niger: crisis making the world news
I’ve just been interviewed by the Australia Broadcasting Corporation. Despite being one of the most painful 10 minutes of my life, it’s fantastic that public interest is really starting to pick up.
We’ve been worried that this would be a silent emergency where few people knew or cared about children in Niger, but this week alone people have been in touch from Austalia, Korea, Italy, Spain, Canada and the UK – it’s great that this crisis is making it onto the world’s media agenda.
Here in Niger, it looks like the food crisis is going to get worse before it gets better. The latest research into nutrition has shown that thousands more people are suffering from a lack of food shortages than we originally thought. The rainy season has started — it rained last night, we’ve had thunder storms, the air is humid — and the forecast is that the rains will be good this year. People are cautiously optimistic that the end is coming into sight.
Even so, it’s going to be several months until the first crops have grown and are ready to be harvested. Until then families still don’t have enough to eat. Desperate people have had to sell their land, tools, and animals to buy food so, even with the rain, they won’t be able to grow food and rear animals in their usual way without help to replace them first.
But we have a team here, working in three of the five worst-affected regions. We’ve got doctors, nutritionists, food, medicine… we’ve treated 36,000 children for malnutrition already but there’s just so much more to do.
Find out more about what we’re doing in Niger