Chad hunger overshadowed by Niger food crisis - UN

Tue May 25, 2010 5:01pm GMT

* Only $2 million raised for Chad so far

* Food shortages already prompting migrations

By Moumine Ngarmbassa

MAO, Chad, May 25 (Reuters) - Relief efforts for two million people facing food shortages in Chad are suffering because donors are concentrating aid on neighbouring Niger, a United Nations agency warned on Tuesday.

Niger is seen at the centre of a looming food crisis in the Sahel, the strip of land stretching across the south of the Sahara where some 10 million people are facing hunger in coming months because of poor rains last year.

But the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) sounded an alarm that Chad, which along with its neighbour is one of the world's poorest nations, was being overlooked.

"Donors are afraid of a repetition of the 2005 food crisis in Niger, when many people starved to death," Fatouma Seid, the FAO's emergency operations expert, said in a statement.

"In comparison, there's less awareness of what's happening in Chad, although the situation there is just as critical."   Continued...

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