High prices exacerbating Niger's food insecurity

The food situation in Niger seems to be getting worse.

After crop failure and erratic rains in the months leading to harvest time left the country with a deficit of more than 500,000 tons of cereals and about 10 million tons of fodder for livestock, Niger is faced with another food problem: skyrocketing food prices.

According to the U.N. World Food Program, prices of cereals in Niger have risen sharply in the current post-harvest period. The average price of millet, meanwhile, is 37 percent higher year on year.

“Unusually high food prices are affecting needy people who are facing growing difficulties as they struggle to feed themselves and their children,” WFP Country Director in Niger Denise Brown said. “I am deeply worried about the food situation deteriorating in the coming months and we cannot sit back and wait for the worst to come.”

The Nigerien government has identified 750,000 people in the cities of Tahoua, Tillabéri, Diffa and some areas of Zinder as severely food insecure, but early reports mentioned in a press release from Oxfam peg the figures of the most at risk at 6 million.

WFP, which launched food-for-work projects in the country in October, estimates it needs $163 million to provide food assistance for some 3.3 million people next year.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.