Niger

Niger humanitarian crisis: Statement by Hilary Benn

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I am very concerned about the deepening nutritional crisis in Niger, and I spoke yesterday to Jan Egeland, the UN's Emergency Relief Co-ordinator about what needs to be done.

DFID was one of the first donors to respond to the UN Flash Appeal issued in May, when we gave =A30.5 million to the World Food Programme. Following a DFID humanitarian assessment mission to Niger, we have now given a further =A31.5 million to humanitarian NGOs providing emergency feeding and medical care. Our total contribution (=A32 million) is equivalent to 22% of the original UN appeal and will deliver emergency nutritional therapy for up to 30,000 malnourished children, health care for up to 700,000 people, and food assistance for up to 250,000 people.

After a slow start, there is now a substantial humanitarian operation underway. I am urging other donors to work together with the Government of Niger and humanitarian agencies to ensure that needs are met and lives are saved as quickly as possible.