France to triple Niger food aid

France has said it would triple its food aid to famine-stricken Niger to 4.6 million euros ($5.57 million) this year to help save thousands of children from starving to death.

    Drought and locust invasions have wiped out crops in Niger

    Drought and locust invasions have wiped out crops in Niger, one of the world's poorest countries also facing an outbreak of deadly diseases including cholera.

    President Jacques Chirac said on Saturday France would also double its contributions to the World Food Programme, of which one million euros would be used to supply school canteens in the most affected regions.

    "This catastrophic situation highlights Niger's dependence on climatic conditions and water resources," Chirac wrote in a letter to Niger's President Mamadou Tandja released on Saturday.

    France's Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy arrived in Niger on Saturday to oversee the aids delivery and determine what more was needed.

    Emergency donations to Niger have increased in response to harrowing images of emaciated infants, kick-starting operations after nine months of appeals by the government for help.

    Poverty and hunger kill one in four children under the age of five in Niger, a mainly desert country on the southern fringe of the Sahara.

     

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.