Niamey - Some 800,000
people will require food aid in Niger in the coming months despite a
good harvest last year due to problems supplying cereals to markets, which have pushed up prices, and an influx of Malian refugees, the United Nations said.
The U.N. office for
humanitarian coordination (OCHA) said they would need food from now
until the start of the rainy season, which is usually in July, July and
It said the situation was
critical in 13 regions surveyed by the government in March, where 84,000
people needed emergency food aid.
The agency cited problems with supplying food to markets
in some areas, such as the northern mining regixon of Arlit and Tahoua
in central Niger and Tillabery in the west, which had driven up cereals
Recurrent shortages in recent years have forced pastoralists to sell livestock, including valuable young females normally kept for breeding, reducing their resistance to food shocks.
presence of some 60,000 refugees from Mali - where a French-led
international mission has battled Islamist rebels since January - has
exacerbated the food shortages in Tillabery and Tahoua, OCHA has said.
2011, the landlocked desert nation was struck by a famine that
afflicted nearly 6 million people - roughly one-third of its population -
as a drought coincided with a return of emigrants from
conflict-stricken Libya and Ivory Coast.
appealed to international donors for $354 million in February to tackle
this year's food crisis, down from $490 million in 2012 - of which only
two-thirds was received - OCHA said.