Many desperate families fled south to Ganyiel to escape the eruption of violence in Bentiu, South Sudan last week. Now, they face severe food shortages and are trying to survive on roots, grass and water lilies from the surrounding swamps.
"We are very hungry. Every day, we will have to eat less if we don’t find food."
Hawa is one of millions facing severe food shortages in Niger. Recurring drought and a failed harvest have set the stage for a looming crisis that will increase in the coming months. What she needs to survive now and break the cycle of hunger: Update from Niger.
It is because of your help that I can smile. It was as if it was my son who had returned to me. These vouchers have value even beyond providing my family with meals — I was proud to choose and receive my items from the market.
Aissata Diallo, mother of four in Mali. Her son left their village last year to search for work to help them — but in the midst of both conflict and drought, she hasn’t heard from him since.
Our emergency vouchers are helping Aissata and other families survive a year of unpredictable shocks in Mali. Find out how.
Update from the Sahel: The food crisis is worsening. We’re expanding relief in Niger and assessing needs in Mali. Read more.
Photo by Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps
Twelve-year-old Lauretta was forced to drop out of school to watch her younger brother while her mother forages for food to feed the family. Lauretta wants to become a school teacher. “I miss school very much,” she said. “I want to go and learn so I can help my mom in the future more.”
Read more about how the escalating food crisis in Niger is impacting children like Lauretta.
Our own Cassandra Nelson talked to CNN about what she’s seeing on the ground in Niger. Years of unpredictable rains, intense poverty and a poor harvest in 2011 have left 5.5 million people (over a third of the country’s population) facing significant food shortages.
Learn more about how Mercy Corps is responding, and what you can do to help.