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CHILDREN’S charity Plan International is ramping-up its response to the complex food crisis in Niger.
Recent political instability across the Sahel has increased the risks to millions of people already vulnerable to hunger due to drought and poor harvests.
Plan Niger has distributed nearly 2,800 tonnes of food to 65,000 people affected by the crisis.
And 48 cereal banks have been stocked with 200 tonnes of food to be distributed within the next two weeks.
The charity is also preparing school feeding activities for 6,830 students in time for the start of the school year in October.
Numbers of Malian refugees are expected to increase with any ECOWAS military involvement in northern Mali.
Plan is continuing to manage the Tabareybarey Refugee Camp, where numbers have risen to nearly 8,500 over the past month.
The charity is also running schools in Tabareybarey and Mangaize camps, where catch-up lessons for displaced refugee children began in August.
Child protection training is being provided to protect children separated from their families. Meanwhile, flooding throughout the country has hit more than 500,000 villagers, killing 81.
While more than 4,000 cholera cases have been reported since June 2011. Most flood-affected families are seeking shelter in schools and mosques.
Plan is working to set up schools ready for children to resume classes in October. Plan will distribute food aid to 1,000 homes in Dosso – consisting of two 100kg bags of maize, five litres of oil, a mat, blanket and mosquito net.
For more information on Plan’s work visit www.plan-uk.org