NIGER: Famine:
Food Crisis Empties Niger Schools

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NIGER - Around 45,000 Nigerien children have left school this year for reasons linked to the food crisis in the West African nation.
Since December 2011, the food crisis in Niger has displaced large numbers of people from areas of scarcity to parts of the country that enjoyed better harvests. The social impacts for these internal migrants are serious, and are contributing to the disruption of education. The Agriculture Ministry attributes the poor harvest to drought that set in after the 2011 rainy season ended early, as well as to damage to growing crops from locust swarms. Just weeks after the harvest, many households had already exhausted their small stocks of food. Whole families left their villages to come to the city in search of work. According to statistics from the ministry, the grain shortfall for 2012 is roughly 500,000 tonnes, 14 percent of the total needs of the country’s 16 million inhabitants. However the migration has been slowed somewhat by the distribution of free food by international NGOs and local associations since February. The government also came to the party distributed its own food aid in June. (END/RADIO BULLETIN EDITOR/2012)

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