Please Help Us Feed A Hungry Friend
You will no doubt have heard the Sahel region of Africa has yet again been hit with erratic and inadequate rainfall. This has led to failed harvests and poorly developed grazing. An estimated 13 million people are affected with over 6 million of these in Niger alone. Here, food shortages are estimated to be in the order of 800,000 metric tonnes. As food runs out prices soar beyond the reach of the chronically poor. In the regions in which SCF works, those of Agadez, Zinder and Diffa, several thousand children are already suffering from severe malnutrition and deaths are being recorded on a daily basis. Under the best case scenario, the next harvest is at least 5 months away.
Lots of statistics, I know, but the reality is these statistics have names; names like Aysha, Mamadou and Bintou. Statistics that are hungry, statistics that hurt, statistics that cry. Statistics that struggle for breath and statistics that will die for want of food.
And while the Niger government and the community are doing their best to get away from it. We can help. With an initial donation of $ 5,000 from St. Louis Zoo, SCF has matched this with a further $ 5,000. Our initial target is to double the price of food for children. SCF will partner with Save The Children to ensure that money is used most effectively.
According to Justin Forsyth, Save The Children’s Chief Executive, who has just returned from Niger, where some food is still available but not affordable. “… we should urgently distribute small amounts of cash to the poorest families so that they can eat”. He went on to say “We need to pay particular attention to helping the under-fives, whose bodies succumb faster to lack of food.” It costs less to stop children to get back to the brink of death- £ 5 ($ 8) Child’s diet for a month, compared with £ 80 ($ 108) to treat a case of severe malnutrition. “
SCF is doing its best to implement an effective and responsible conservation program in Niger. And while we rightly focus our attention on endangered species, we never fail to recognize the importance of building meaningful and honest relationships with the people. Beyond providing relief food, we have a longer program of support that includes health care and vaccinations against diseases like tetanus and measles, education and school canteens for the children of nomad families, and the provision of environmentally-sound and reliable sources of water.
You would not walk away from a hungry friend, would you?
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