Famine in Niger... Immediate assistance is needed

Niger is facing a food crisis. In this very poor area of the country, harshly hit by drought and an invasion of migratory locusts, famine threatens the lives of thousands of children.

"Towards the end of 2004, the northern territories of Saheland were hit by drought as well as locusts and the impact upon the multiple communities in these surrounding areas has been extremely serious." "In Niger, several years of economic decline and struggle has also weakened the capacity of people able to react against these problems, which is why the crisis has become more severe in Niger, even more so than in other areas of Sahel. The people in the affected areas have a serious need for seeds and food to allow them to keep going until the end of October." Out of 63 registered districts, 11 of them have a population in an 'extremely serious' condition, and 16 other districts, the habitants live in a situation considered 'critical' according to the national estimations.

Habitants, local authorities and NGO's are calling for urgent help.

In Dakoro, a 2 =BD hour drive in a 4x4 from Maradi, a consortium of NGO's already working in Niger: ACF Spain, Care International, Oxfam, VSF Belgium and the Belgian Technical Cooperation are attempting to provide help to disaster stricken areas by installing an emergency antenna: activity base of food distribution.

With the installation of a telecom centre in this isolated zone, Télécoms Sans Frontières are involving themselves with these NGO's. A high flow data transmission centre, some telephone lines and fax will help the control and coordination of the emergency activities from the 30th of July.