HKI Responds to Severe Food Crisis in Niger; Funding is Needed to Support Efforts
Niamey, Niger – Niger is in the middle of a severe nutrition and food crisis following insufficient and irregular rains in 2009 that caused poor food harvests and water shortages. Over 7 million people have been left vulnerable, with children under five and pregnant and nursing women the most at risk. As one of the poorest countries in Africa, Niger already has one of the highest child death rates in the world. This latest food crisis will put even more children in danger. An estimated 455,000 children are now suffering from acute malnutrition, and the situation is considered critical in the regions of Zinder and Diffa, and serious in Dosso.
"Mothers are being forced to make the difficult decision between cultivating their fields to ensure the next harvest is a good one, and seeking care for their malnourished children," says Helen Keller International’s country director in Niger, Marily Knieriemen. "In order to save these children’s lives, we are working with partners to provide community-based rehabilitation services within the affected communities."
Since it is clear that the food crisis will continue to get worse, Helen Keller International is seeking $175,000 in additional funds to expand services to thirty more clinics in the hard-hit Zinder region to reach more children in need. To make a donation now, please click here.