Nigeria donates food to hunger-stricken Niger

LAGOS, Jul 25, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) - Nigeria has donated about 170 tons of maize and garri to its northern neighbor Niger where some 1.6 million people are going hungry due to a food crisis, the Nigerian government said on Monday.

The donation, which comprised 120 tons of maize and 50 tons of garri, was delivered on July 12 and July 18, it said in a statement.

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had earlier approved the sale of 5,514 tons of sorghum from the strategic grains reserve, to the World Food Program (WFP) for distribution in Niger and Chad, it said.

Poor harvest brought on by last year's drought and locust plague has caused acute food shortage in some countries in the northern parts of Africa, especially Niger.

As a result of this, the worst hit countries have requested for food aid to sustain both domestic consumption and feeding of refugees from the crisis-ridden Darfur region of Sudan.

In Niger, the United Nations reportedly has raised its emergency appeal from 16 million US dollars to 30 million US dollars, but so far, only 10 million dollars has been pledged by donors.