Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Famine Looming in Niger & Mali

As we celebrate Cinco De Mayo in Los Angeles, and a senior UN official on her visit to Mali states, "Mali truly has the opportunity to become the breadbasket for the region".....Timbuktu begins to see thunderstorms ...........

and Tinariwen cries out for assistance in the north of Mali and the NYTimes and other press report on the famine situation in Niger.

This drought and famine are not contained to Niger alone, the north of Mali where we work is affected too.

According to Oxfam, "The crop prices rising steadily. Previously, the sale of a goat would have brought enough money to buy a 50kg bag of millet. Today, for the same bag requires 2 goats. But some goats are so thin that nobody wants to buy. ....". Although I have found no articles on the Essakane commune, nor Timbuktu area, Gao is only 326 km from Timbuktu.
"These are the Easter holidays for school children. More and more children are missing school. "How do you learn and receive education on an empty stomach," says one father, emerging from a tent. "
in French (pop urls into the Google translator, it does a nice job) in English

I have a call scheduled with our NGO partner in Mali, Adjmor, to get details from our schools. We have been discussing an animal lending program for our schools and communities, so I think we must move this up the list after the rains, to replenish herds. Pray for good rains this year!

Famine Early Warning (FEWS) for Mali and Niger.
Kidal is north east of our Essakane communities.
Tinariwen, famous Malian Tuareg musicians ask for help in Kidal area.
Relief Web to track world emergencies, including the Sahel. Article

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