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Drought Bringing Famine to North-Central Africa June 25, 2010
Niger cattle
Starving cattle in Niger that may be purchased by the Red Cross to slaughter and feed those people who are malnourished due to the worsening drought.
International aid agencies have launched an urgent appeal to donors for help feeding starving people in parts of drought-stricken north-central Africa.

The relief agency Oxfam warns that 10 million people face starvation due to a failed harvest in Niger and Chad.

“People are eating wild fruit and leaves, and building ant hills just to capture the tiny amount of grain that the ants collect inside,” said Oxfam officer Charles Bambara.

The Red Cross has set up a program in Mali and neighboring Niger to buy the weakest animals farmers have been unable to feed, slaughter them and distribute the meat to the neediest.

The relief agency said it plans to buy about 40,000 such animals from 10,000 farmers to help alleviate the famine.

Photo: U.N. FAO