August 18 2005
Emergency relief underway in famine-struck Niger
18/08/2005 - The emergency relief efforts of SOS Children's Villages in Niger got underway on 10 August, when some 100 affected families from the Tahoua region were provided with food and medical supplies. With an estimated one-third of Niger's population reported to be suffering from severe food shortages, it is feared that thousands of children will not survive the famine disaster.
On 10 August, the first batch of aid supplies was provided by SOS Children's Villages to 100 particularly vulnerable families in Tahoua and surroundings, one of the many severely affected regions in Niger. All in all, an estimated 800 children and their parents will be helped under this programme.
From a temporary office in Tahoua, a team of SOS Children's Villages and city officials will continue providing families with a monthly ration of millet, rice, oil, milk and medication to cure malaria and respiratory infections for the next four months.
After the first phase of this emergency relief programme, scheduled to end in November 2005, the second phase will focus primarily on helping the most vulnerable children. Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, was struck by severe famine following a lack of rain and devastating plague of locusts which destroyed crops. Children are particularly vulnerable and it is feared that thousands will not survive the disaster.
An SOS Children's Village in Niger's capital Niamey, which includes an adjacent kindergarten and school, has been in operation since 1993. Construction for a second SOS Children's Village in Niger will begin in Tahoua in September 2005.