Aid agencies have warned that heavy flooding in the region will mean that millions of people will remain neglected. Floods have killed at least six people and left thousands homeless, heightening the country’s on-going crisis.
The River Niger in the capital has reached its highest level in more than 80 years and many crops have been ruined less than two months before harvest. Flooding has also made it more difficult for aid to be delivered to those who need it most in the region. The UN subsequently estimates that almost eight million people are facing severe hunger and the recent flooding has heightened fears concerning the spread of water borne diseases.
Raphael Sindaye, Oxfam’s Deputy Regional Director in West Africa said, ‘We’re helping thousands of people affected by the floods but it is stretching our resources to the limit at a time when we are responding to one of the worst food crises to hit the region in living memory. Niger urgently needs more money to fund not only the food crisis but also to help those hit by this second emergency’.
In a blow to aid efforts, the United Nation’s World Food Programme has acknowledged that it will not be able to help feed 60 % of those facing hunger in the country unless it urgently receives more money from donors.
‘The situation in West Africa may seem impossibly complex and difficult to solve but if only the international community would invest in long-term predictable development work we could make sure families are a lot less vulnerable to shocks, and double shocks, in the future.’ Sindaye added.
It is becoming more apparent that until international donors address the situation in Niger with vigour and determination, the futile suffering of millions will only be prolonged.
All Photos Credited to: Mike Goldwater/Christian Aid