Food shortage in Niger still critical, says Caritas - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
September 24, 2005

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Food shortage in Niger still critical, says Caritas

-24/09/05

The food situation in drought-stricken Niger remains critical, according to a new report from the national branch of the Catholic development agency network, Caritas.

The Caritas report says that abundant rains in recent months have brought no improvement to a situation which has caused great concern among NGOs and churches.

It will be some months before the next harvest and at least 1,900 villages are suffering from a serious food shortage, according to FIDES and Independent Catholic News.

Some 2.7 million people face a food crisis and of these 900,000 are in an extremely serious condition.

International church agencies have been collaborating on both immediate and long-term assistance to Niger since the problem was first brought to world attention in June. There are also warnings about a looming food crisis threatening 10 million people in Southern Africa.

ìThe impact of the [Niger] food shortage on health has been underestimated and most aid focused on providing food overlooking the health risks connected with malnutrition,î says the Caritas report.

The most widely diffused diseases are malaria, meningitis and cholera. In the first six months of this year there were 224,221 cases of malaria and 327 deaths; 1,036 cases of meningitis and 115 deaths; and 99 cholera cases and 10 deaths.

The majority of those suffering from Malaria in Niger are pregnant mothers and children under the age of five.

Locusts and other insects have caused also serious damage to the countryís agriculture, and are putting future harvests at risk.

Caritas Niger relies on local volunteers members of Committees for Development and Solidarity (CSD) active in each Catholic parish. Workers are both Christian and Muslim.

Caritas Niger has received aid support from Caritas Internationalis and the national bodies Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Nigeria and Rwanda.

Aid has also come from the Vatican (Cor Unum), the Italian Bishops' Conference, Roermond Diocese in Holland, and various government bodies. A Spanish association, Pharma Mundi has sent 2.6 tons of medicines.

Find books now:

Food shortage in Niger still critical, says Caritas

-24/09/05

The food situation in drought-stricken Niger remains critical, according to a new report from the national branch of the Catholic development agency network, Caritas.

The Caritas report says that abundant rains in recent months have brought no improvement to a situation which has caused great concern among NGOs and churches.

It will be some months before the next harvest and at least 1,900 villages are suffering from a serious food shortage, according to FIDES and Independent Catholic News.

Some 2.7 million people face a food crisis and of these 900,000 are in an extremely serious condition.

International church agencies have been collaborating on both immediate and long-term assistance to Niger since the problem was first brought to world attention in June. There are also warnings about a looming food crisis threatening 10 million people in Southern Africa.

'The impact of the [Niger] food shortage on health has been underestimated and most aid focused on providing food overlooking the health risks connected with malnutrition,' says the Caritas report.

The most widely diffused diseases are malaria, meningitis and cholera. In the first six months of this year there were 224,221 cases of malaria and 327 deaths; 1,036 cases of meningitis and 115 deaths; and 99 cholera cases and 10 deaths.

The majority of those suffering from Malaria in Niger are pregnant mothers and children under the age of five.

Locusts and other insects have caused also serious damage to the country's agriculture, and are putting future harvests at risk.

Caritas Niger relies on local volunteers members of Committees for Development and Solidarity (CSD) active in each Catholic parish. Workers are both Christian and Muslim.

Caritas Niger has received aid support from Caritas Internationalis and the national bodies Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Nigeria and Rwanda.

Aid has also come from the Vatican (Cor Unum), the Italian Bishops' Conference, Roermond Diocese in Holland, and various government bodies. A Spanish association, Pharma Mundi has sent 2.6 tons of medicines.

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