Appeal amount: $100,000
Lack of significant rainfall in the 2004 planting season coupled with a massive infestation of desert locusts has created conditions of acute malnutrition for approximately 3.5 million persons in vast parts of Niger's Sahel region (southern tier of the Sahara desert). Years of economic decline and struggle have also weakened the capacity of people able to react against these problems.
Since June, Mediciens Sans Frontiers reports admitting about 1,000 children a week at each of its five emergency feeding centres -- all weak and emaciated from lack of food, many on the verge of starvation.
Food shortages in the Sahel are expected to become increasingly more critical until the new harvest begins in late September. Grain prices reportedly double their usual level and livestock prices at all-time lows may have catastrophic consequences for the struggling nation over the next few months.
Through September 2005 (onset of harvest), CWS will support partners and Action By Churches Together (ACT) members Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS) and Lutheran World Relief (LWR). Both groups will be working in the areas of food security, health and nutrition, and livestock assistance in affected areas of the Sahel.
HEKS will coordinate with local non-governmental organizations in Niger * TANAKRA, Agence de Development Nourriterre (ADN), AFFAAC (Tahoua), and AREN * providing assistance to approximately 50,000 people in 55 villages.
HEKS activities will include:
- Purchase and delivery of 600 tons of millet, 10 percent for seed
- Distribution of 50 tons of milk powder (mainly for children)
- Purchase and delivery of 475 tons of animal fodder
- Provision of 4,520 salt blocks (mainly for livestock)
- Construction of 13 additional cereal banks (6 already exist)
- Training and equipment to manage and operate cereal banks
LWR is in the process of finalizing its project descriptions in conjunction with its local implementing partners. Due to the gravity of the situation and the need to respond quickly, CWS is proceeding with this appeal -- #640-W Niger Food Insecurity (Drought and Locusts). CWS is seeking $100,000 in support of the targeted initial funding request from ACT (ref. AFNG-51) for $222,849.
Project descriptions for CWS' coordinating partner LWR are forthcoming. Details regarding specific budget items are available upon request.
Contributions to support CWS Niger Food Insecurity (Drought and Locusts) response efforts may be sent to your denomination or directly to:
Church World Service
Niger Food Insecurity (Drought and Locusts) (Acct. #640-W)
P.O. Box 968
Elkhart, IN 46515
Contributions may also be made by credit card by calling: (800) 297-1516, ext. 222, or online at www.churchworldservice.org.
Please contact the CWS Emergency Response Program if you would like a more detailed appeal description.
For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit www.churchworldservice.org or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.