More than 7 million people in Niger, which last week saw its Government overthrown in a coup d’etat, are facing food insecurity, the United Nations health agency has warned. Some 2.7 million, or one in five households, were severely food insecure and another 5.1 million were moderately food insecure, Paul Garwood of the WHO told reporters in Geneva. “More than half the population [of 7.7 million] was estimated to have less than two months worth of food stocks to survive until the next harvest in October,” he said. Garwood added that in the first weeks of 2010, nearly 29,000 cases of global acute malnutrition had been reported. In response, Niger’s authorities had recently launched a support plan to improve food safety and prevent malnutrition and to treat cases of malnutrition of children aged under the age of five. Acute malnutrition affected more than 12 percent of children in this age group in Niger, he noted. (U.N. News Service)

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