A massive airlift of food for the famine-stricken Niger Republic got under way at Ikeja near Lagos in Nigeria on Friday (June 29).
A massive airlift of food for the famine-stricken Niger Republic got under way at Ikeja near Lagos in Nigeria on Friday (June 29). The airlifts are being organised by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation.
Two aircraft took supplies on Friday. One took 250 tons of sorghum to Agades in northern Niger and the other took corn to the eastern part of the country.
The food-supply in Niger has become desperate because of the drought which has affected a large part of West Africa. A recent official analysis has calculated that Niger has a current need of 100,000 tons of food and six to ten more transport planes. Three Canadian Air Force planes will also operate from Nigeria this week. Belgian aircraft have been making food-drops for some time.
On June 16, Niger President Diori Hamani wrote to the Government of the United States and the European NATO countries, requesting an airlift of food and supplies. Aircraft are necessary because the late rains, which are already beginning to fall, make the reads impassable. The situation has been aggravated because some of the promised shipments from the U.S. and Europe are coming in late, and mass starvation is close for some communities.