AFRICA/NIGER - Sahel: 10 million people risk famine; “Green Wall” to counter desertification

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Niamey (Agenzia Fides)- In Niger seven million people, more than half the entire population, suffer because of the acute food shortage affecting more than 10 million people all over the Sahel region of Africa. This was seen from the latest figures issued by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Niamey.
The United Nations Organisation has allocated 14 million dollars to help Niger meet the most urgent needs, until the next harvest expected in September. The humanitarian action plan for Niger has already been funded for 57% with the allocation of 80 million dollars.
To combat desterification a threat to farming activity in Sahel countries, 11 African leaders met in Chad on 17 June to give new impulse to what is termed the Green Wall project. This project, first launched 5 years ago, foresees the reforestation of a band of land 15 km wide and 7,000 km long extending from Dakar in Senegal, as far as Djibouti, Horn of Africa, crossing from west to east Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 19/6/2010)