The World Food Program will scale up its operations in Niger as malnutrition rates among young children in the African nation reach emergency levels.
“We’re doubling the size of our operations and ramping up already significant interventions, to take even swifter action to protect these children,” said Josette Sheeran, executive director of WFP.
A government survey showed acute malnutrition rate had reached 16.7 percent of Nigerien children under 5, up from 12.3 percent in 2009 and above the 15 percent warning threshold. Nearly half of the African nation’s 7.1 million people are reeling from acute food shortages brought about by drought and crop failure.
The U.N. agency estimated it will need an extra USD100 million to expand its operations in the Niger.
Some 46 percent of the USD190 million aid appeal for Niger launched in April has so far been funded.