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The Food Crisis in Niger

Food Crisis in NigerRecent news stories have alerted the world about the severe food scarcity in the Sahel region of Africa, especially in Niger. The Sahel region of Africa is the area between the Sahara Desert to the north and the more fertile zones in the south. It stretches across the entire continent from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Horn of Africa in the east. The nations in this region include Burkina Faso, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal. Most of the affected regions are extremely poor. Even in a normal year, it is hard to grow a crop that can feed families adequately. In the summer of 2004, there was a plague of locusts in the Sahelian region of Western Africa. According to the World Food Programme, this was the worst locust plague to hit the Sahel region in 15 years. Massive swarms of billions of hungry locusts ate their way across much of West Africa. The swarms destroyed thousands of acres of crops such as corn, millet, and sorghum just before they were due to be harvested. The locusts ruined fields and farms across a vast stretch of Mali, Mauritania, and Senegal. In addition to the swarms of locusts that destroyed crops, some parts of the Sahelian region, including Niger have experienced such an extensive drought that there is the possibility of ongoing damaging effects for the next two years.

As a result, a serious food shortage is affecting more than 3.6 million people in Niger alone. The locusts and the drought virtually destroyed food production across the predominantly agricultural country. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) estimates that as many as 3,815 villages have lost 50 percent or more of their food production. People are eating leaves and grass, selling personal items, removing their children from school, and migrating to neighboring cities and countries to find work or food.

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Food Crisis In Niger

Food Crisis In Niger
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