Caritas International has launched campaigns the past two days to help alleviate the food crises in the African nations of Niger and Burkina Faso.
People of both countries in West Africa’s Sahel region face rising food costs amid growing shortages.
“Niger and the Sahel face an alarming food emergency that is getting worse day-by-day,” said Raymond Yoro, the executive secretary of Caritas Niger, in a press release.
Caritas says that the food shortage affects a third of the Nigerien population. The shortage dates back to 2010, when 7.8 million people – or three-fifths of the population – faced moderate to severe food insecurity, following a 2009 drought that depleted food stocks. With food already limited today, an increasing number of Malian refugees have further strained supplies.
Famines are nothing new in Niger. In 2010, the New York Times detailed the long struggle, dating back to 1974, the country has had battling food shortages amidst increasing birthrates and a basic agricultural system.