The United Nations on Thursday said $147 million will be required to save two million people who will be in urgent need of food aid this year in Niger despite healthy cereal surplus in the country.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said aid groups will help some 1.5 million people including refugees from neighbouring countries.
Nigeria’s government has pledged to help another 500,000 people in need in the country.
“Humanitarian agencies estimate the number of people needing food assistance in Niger at 2 million,” said OCHA report.
Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are seeking for $147 million to fund their aid operations in the country but had only been able to get 2.5 percent of the fund.
Niger recorded an 88,000 tonne surplus of cereal production this year.
The impoverished country of 17 million people usually faces food crises due to drought and flooding linked to climate change.
Niger has one of the highest fertility rates in the world, with an average of 7.1-8 children born to every women.
The country was ranked 174 out of 177 countries by UNDP’s Human Development Index in 2008.
Some 59.5 percent of the population live below the poverty line.Agriculture is the engine of Niger’s weak economy, with 82 percent of the population relying on farming.