Germany donates 1 million euros in Niger famine aid

BERLIN, Aug 2, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The German Foreign Office earmarked on Tuesday 1 million euros (1.2 million US dollars) in emergency aid for the African country of Niger which has been struck by a severe food crisis.
The money is meant for aid projects run by German non-governmental agencies in Niger, in particular for those focusing on saving children and old people from starvation, the foreign ministry said in Berlin Tuesday.

In addition, German Aid and Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul promised a further 400,000 euros for the German chapter of Red Cross to boost its humanitarian work in Niger.

The foreign ministry said that 3.6 million people in Niger are threatened with famine, which was predicted more than six months ago.

The German aid money is also aimed to support the work of international aid groups, including UNICEF, which wants to care for some 32,000 severely-malnourished children in the region.

Since June this year, the German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development has already released 1.9 million euros in immediate humanitarian aid for the drought-struck African country.

A UN appeal for 30 million dollars to help the area was launched in November and the World Food Program called for 16 million dollars, but neither appeal has reached half of its goal due to the slowness of the world community though more funds have been promised.