Niger

200 tonnes of food aid for airlift to Niger

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Paris, France (PANA) - About 200 tonnes of emergency food aid for famine stricken Niger will shortly be airlifted from France via Hercules C-130 planes of the French army, reliable sources affirmed here Monday.

According to organisers of the operation, the supplies, which will be transported to Niger, have been obtained through "Reunir Niger," a donation collecting campaign to assist people threatened by hunger in the West African country.

They indicate that 200 tonnes of supplies will be transported to Niamey through eight roundtrips by the French army's jumbo aircraft. The items will then be transported by road throughout the country. But Tahoua and Maradi -- two towns in northwestern and centre-eastern Niger -- where the NGOs describe the food situations as "alarming" are particularly targeted.

In June, Médecin sans Frontières (MSF) sounded an alarm about the situation of Nigérien children in Tahoua and Maradi, indicating that 9,000 of them were admitted in MSF's "acute malnutrition" centres.

The NGO then said that the only way to help Nigérien people face hunger was to carry out free massive food distribution operations.

The international mobilisation in favour of Niger was recently illustrated by the allocation by France of an additional food aid estimated at 1.2 million Euros and the sending by Morocco of a medico-social unit of the Royal Armed Forces (FAR).

UEMOA has joined the movement of solidarity by releasing 75 million FCFA in favour if Niger, where the crops were particularly bad last year because of the locust invasion and poor rainfall.

Pan African News Agency
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