Niger update statement - 23 November 2005

News and Press Release
Originally published
DEC Chief Executive, Brendan Gormley, said:

"Our members are working extremely hard throughout the region and are doing everything they can to bring relief to the most vulnerable people but it is a deep rooted and complex crisis. They are the first to admit that they have not got all the answers but I can assure you that they are using all the funds donated by the British public in the best way possible.

In the southern belt, recently visited by the BBC, the British Red Cross have been using DEC money to distribute a monthly food ration for three months to over 300,000 people, and supplementary feeding and health care to 24,500 children and their families.

Oxfam have set up a two million dollar response in Niger and have been supporting over 250,000 people in areas affected by the crisis.

Our members are there before, during and after any crisis, including in Niger.

For example, CARE, which is one of the largest NGOs in Niger, responded to the first warning signs of the shortages as early as 2004 by delivering food and seeds to thousands of starving families.

They now have 30 staff working on the crisis and have carried out emergency food distributions to more than a million people. Each one received a month's rations of cereal and pulses. In Diffa, in the east of the country where the loss of crops and livestock was greatest they have started a school feeding programme to enable children to continue with their education.

The DEC Niger Crisis Appeal has to date raised =A326 million of which =A313.7 million has been allocated to the member agency programmes in Niger.