Niger to begin harvesting food crops
"Many farmers in Niger have mortgaged their expected harvests in order to meet immediate food needs," said Kathy Tilford, CARE's director in Niger. "Those who harvest a mediocre crop this year will likely only be able to cover a few months of food needs after they pay back loans."
Herders -- many of whom have lost the majority of their cattle, their principal sources of income and sustenance -- have been even harder hit than farmers. Helping pastoralists recover their productive assets is critical, Tilford said.
Although the rainy season means harvest is around the corner, it also points to increased disease rates, aggravating the food security situation. Diarrhea, respiratory diseases and malaria disproportionately affect the poorest and most vulnerable people in Niger.
CARE continues to respond to the immediate food crisis and to address the long-term issues that cause food insecurity in Niger. Our response strategy includes:
- Immediate food distribution and nutritional recuperation
- Recuperation and rehabilitation of household assets
- Emergency preparedness and community-based early warning systems
CARE operations in Niger have benefited from long-term experience in the country, dating back to CARE's response to the 1974 drought. Today CARE has the largest presence of any international humanitarian agency in the country, with a staff of 309 Nigeriens and two expatriates.
CARE is deeply concerned about chronic food shortages elsewhere in Africa. Our operations in the Horn of Africa, Sahel and southern Africa focus on both immediate and long-term needs of the most vulnerable Africans, including women.
CARE works in 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with decades of experience and close partnership with communities and local humanitarian organizations.
Johannesburg: Kenneth Walker, CARE, email@example.com, +27 11 234 1221, cell +27 82 336 8312
Atlanta: Lurma Rackley, CARE USA, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 404 979 9450, cell +1 404 394 8298