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article imageAid agencies say West Africa on the brink of starvation, need aid

By Andrew Moran     Jun 21, 2010 in World
Niamey - Two of the largest humanitarian agencies, Oxfam International and Save The Children, are stating that the western region of Africa is on the brink of starvation. The aid agencies launched campaigns that appealed for $10 million just to help Niger.
According to Agence-France Presse, Oxfam International and Save The Children have appealed to the international community for $21 million in donations to deal with the food crisis problem in the western region of Africa because more than ten million people are on the brink of starvation.
The dire crisis is mostly caused by drought and crop failure and seven million people in Niger alone are at the epicenter of the crisis. However, Oxfam stated that the people of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Nigeria face similar problems.
“We are witnessing an unfolding disaster which can be averted if we act quickly,” said head of Oxfam in West Africa, Mamdaou Biteye. “The next harvests are several months away and people are already desperate. People are eating leaves and drinking dirty water. Unless we can raise money for this, we will be forced to turn our backs on those most in need.”
BBC News reports that the United Nations shares the same concern as the two aid agencies because they feel the crisis of this magnitude has not been seen before, “The magnitude of this crisis has not been seen before. We need money now,” said UN's country director, Khardiata Lo Ndiaye
Approximately 400,000 children under the age of five face the risk of starvation, reports Press TV. This has prompted numerous aid organizations to criticize the response from governments around the world as “woefully inadequate.”
The appeals began on Monday.
More about West africa, Food crisis, Oxfam international
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