18 millionpeople acrossMauritania,Mali, Niger,Burkina Faso,Chad andSenegal arefacing a severefood crisis.
Harvests failed in many areas in 2011.Today, many people have run out of food- and food prices are alarmingly high.
The poor harvest was the result of failed rains, and,in some areas, infestations of pests like caterpillars orcrickets.
“We planted last yearbut there was a longdrought. When themillet was about tobear gains, the rainstopped.What is very painfulis when childrensurround you andsay ‘We need food’and there is no foodto give them.” Hamani, Dosso Region, Niger
“There are times when thechildren hold me and say,‘Grandma, we need toeat.’ I don’t haveanything.I have several months inthe darkness. I am afraidof the future.” Mintou, Dosso Region, Niger
“When I am really hungry, it hurts mystomach, and then it ends up givingme a headache. I can’t hear what theteachers are saying.” Halarou, Dosso Region, Niger
Many people have been forced to leave their villages because ofthe lack of food, or because of conflict.Momoudou and his nine children have moved to Niamey, thecapital of Niger, where they are living in a tiny shelter made ofcardboard boxes and tarpaulin.
“For me, this is the worst everseason. In previous years, Icould harvest something.The most important thing forus in the future is food. Howcan I feed my family?” Momoudou, Niamey, Niger
With your support, we arerunning health centres formalnourished children acrossNiger.
We are distributing food to themost vulnerable, and setting upcereal banks that provide grainat subsidised prices.
We are paying people in cash or foodto work on projects that benefit theircommunities – like half-moon fields,which prevent water from drainingaway when it rains..
And we are making sure that people whowere forced to flee their homes have foodand essential supplies – like pots, pans andclothes.
“I am very happy to have receivedyour support. If I hadn’t come here,I don’t know what would havehappened to my baby.Please continue to support us inthese changing times.” Haoua, Niamey, Niger
P le a s e s u p p o r t o u r r e s p o nPhotos:Nick Harrop/CAFODFranziska Koller/Caritas SuissePeter With/Caritas Denmark