The agro-pastoral areas of Diffa and Zinder in southern Niger are likely to see a rise in food shortages and malnutrition in the coming months, according to an assessment by the US-funded Famine Early Warning System.
In Zinder in the south and Diffa in the southeast, most households that usually produce enough food for six to nine months have produced just two months’ worth in the 2009-10 harvest, says FEWSNET in a 25 January alert.
The food security experts also predict a particularly sharp rise in the number of malnourished children, even in urban areas.
More households are being forced to buy grain on the market to cope, FEWSNET says. But with high crop prices and cash crops such as cowpeas and groundnuts in short supply, many families have low purchasing power, compelling them to sell livestock at low prices or send members to neighbouring countries for work.
Food banks run by farmers’ cooperatives and the national food security reserve are not adequately stocked to meet people’s needs, the alert says.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
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