Not again – Niger faces food crisis

Not again – Niger faces food crisis

December 7, 2011 in General Leave a reply

When I read the headline ‘Sahel facing major food crisis’ in the Guardian this morning I thought for a minute I was reading an old article from 2010.

At the beginning of May 2010 I headed to Niger to set up and run Save the Children’s communications operation to raise the profile of the food crisis that wasn’t getting the attention it needed. The Guardian ran this photo story shortly after I arrived and we went on to get coverage on BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Sky news, Channel 4 and elsewhere raising the public’s concern and raising vital funds to save¬†children’s lives.

I can’t bear to think of the families and children I met last year having to go through this again. Mum’s like Aicha, who thought her son Saminou was going to die. Luckily, thanks to treatment in a Save the Children supported clinic he was brought back from the brink of death. I hope that he’s not suffering again now.

Other families weren’t so lucky. It was devastating to watch the nurses fight to save two year old Nassirou’s life only for his fragile life to slip from him.

The faces and words of the mums and children I met are flooding back to me. I hope beyond hope the situation isn’t as bad as in 2010.¬†The devastating thing is that back then I was blogging about how we can’t just respond to the current food crisis – we need the funding to address the underlying problems as well, like lack of education, chronic lack of access to basic health, more robust crops etc.

We can’t just keep responding to one acute crisis after another.


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