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As food crisis deteriorates in Niger, World Vision expands response

• Aid agency says annual “hunger season” began early this year
• 1.5 million children suffering from malnutrition throughout Niger

Niamey, Niger, July 23, 2010—World Vision has received a $1 million grant from the United States’ Office of
Foreign Disaster Assistance to implement an emergency nutrition intervention in Niger, one of the world’s
poorest countries and battling its worst food crisis in years. At one of World Vision’s malnutrition screening
centers in Koma Bangou, 53 cases of severely acute malnutrition were identified in a three-week period. In 2009,
the same center identified just 22 cases in the entire year.

“This is the worst food shortage we’ve seen in Niger since 2005,” said Judy Moore, World Vision’s emergency
response director in Niger. “We’ve even heard reports of parents feeding their children ‘galgu,’ a plant normally
used to feed cattle, because they can’t find anything else to eat.”

The grant will fund treatment for nearly 28,000 malnourished children in the Maradi and Tilaberi regions of Niger
over the course of one year. Currently, 58 percent of Niger’s population is severely food insecure, and 1.5 million
children under 5 are suffering from malnutrition.

In April, as the crisis began to escalate, World Vision scaled up its emergency response programming. In
partnership with the World Food Program, World Vision is distributing food in the Maradi and Tahou regions and
has restocked 32 cereal banks with 320 metric tons of cereals to be sold at a subsidized price in seven of World
Vision’s most affected program areas. These interventions are expected to increase food availability for more than
500,000 people. World Vision is also partnering with the Food and Agricultural Organization to distribute seeds
for the planting season to 10,000 households throughout Niger.

“There aren’t many places in the world where you have an annual ‘hunger season,’ but Niger is one of them,” said
Moore. “Unfortunately, this year, poor harvests and a lack of rainfall meant the hunger season began earlier than
usual.”

Niger’s ongoing food insecurity is a result of both a poor harvest because of last year’s erratic rainfall and the fact
that much of the population lacks enough income to purchase food for their families. The cereal harvest has fallen
by 30 percent and pasture, essential for livestock herders, has fallen by 60 percent.

World Vision began working in Niger in 1995, helping those affected by drought. Today, the organization is serving
in five regions, with programs benefitting more than 600,000 people each year.

To help support World Vision's response in Niger, donors can visit www.worldvision.org/nigerhunger. The public
can also contact their members of Congress and ask them to support the Global Food Security Act, which would
make a significant contribution toward reducing hunger by investing in sustainable agriculture and nutrition
programs.

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World Vision staff are available for interviews. Please contact Laura Blank at 646.245.2496 or
lblank@worldvision.org or Casey Calamusa at 206.310.5476 or ccalamus@worldvision.org.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities
worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Visit www.worldvision.org/press.