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August 16, 2005

Emergency food needed for massive starvation in Niger

From Convoy of Hope...

Already the second poorest nation on the face of the earth, drought and a locust infestation is further crippling the helpless population of Niger.

Back to back droughts in 2003-2004, decreased the nation's crop harvest. The population persevered and again planted, hoping for relief. But in 2005, a plague of locusts swarmed the country, eating almost all vegetation, the precious crops that were to feed a nation.

Four million people are in desperate need of food — without help, these people who are unable to help themselves will perish. Some families have even resorted to scavenging anthills in order to retrieve grains left over by insects.

A new crop has been planted and recent rains make growing conditions favorable, but the next three months are crucial, as most families have invested everything in order to plant and survive.

Niger-based Convoy of Hope partners have requested emergency assistance to enable them to care for those communities most affected by this disaster. In response, Convoy of Hope is rushing 80,000 pounds of rice, beans, maize, and pasta to the region. An assessment team will soon travel there in order to assist with distribution points and training.

Convoy of Hope plans to donate approximately 250-300,000 pounds of grain products over the next two to three months to help alleviate the famine in the southern and eastern areas of Niger. In some areas of the country, food costs have tripled in price, making it difficult to obtain adequate and equitable food in country.

Due to the nature of this disaster, we ask donors to help us purchase these grains or to sponsor the shipment of a container.

Donations can be made, online, at the Convoy of Hope website.

More info on Niger at the CIA World Factbook.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 16, 2005 09:41 AM

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