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UN agencies call for aid to prevent food crisis in Niger

The United Nations is maintaining its international appeal for food aid to Niger in order to preempt another food crisis like the one it suffered last year.

According to the U.N. News Agency, Niger is experiencing a good harvest season with 60 percent more cereal production, but malnutrition is still widespread, affecting 15 to 17 percent of the populartion. If left untreated, the situation could throw the nation back towards its previous levels of food insecurity.

A U.N. report stated that "food and non-food assistance is still necessary to reconstitute the resilience capacity of the affected populations to allow them to have independent access to food."

The worst of last year's crisis was averted thanks to government and U.N. intervention. The World Food Programme (WFP) distributed emergency food aid to nearly 5 million people while the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) donated 13,000 tons of animal feed and 3,400 tons of seeds to meet the needs of 94 percent of the affected villages, the news source reports.

According to IRIN News, a large-scale migration of Nigerian farmers looking for work in 2010 incited worry about the country's food shortages.
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