BBC News (Link) (August 14, 2010)
Niger is now facing the worst hunger crisis in its history, the UN’s World Food Programme says, with almost half the population - or 7.3 million people - in desperate need of food.
A WFP spokesman said villagers in Niger described the situation as worse than 2005, when thousands died of hunger.
After a prolonged drought, heavy rains have now hit parts of the country, killing at least six people.
The WFP says 17% of children, or one in five, are acutely malnourished.
The figure - based on national surveys in May and June - is well above the WFP’s normal 15% threshold for declaring an emergency.
It is appealing for $213m (£136m) in aid, but is still 40% short of its target, a spokesman said.