The Irish Red Cross will be undertaking the biggest food distribution operation in its 70 year history in the coming weeks, delivering food to 115,000 people in Niger which faces one of its worst food crises in years.
This operation is in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) which has recognised the capacity of the Irish Red Cross to deliver 1,866 tonnes of food to the people of Niger, in coordination with the Niger Red Cross.
Noel Wardick, the Head of the International Department for the Irish Red Cross, is currently in Niger on an 8-day visit to assess the scale of the food crisis. He is meeting with Irish Red Cross staff and the Niger Red Cross to discuss how this food can be distributed to those who need it most.
“It is a great achievement for the Irish Red Cross that the World Food Programme has expressed such trust in us. However at least 7.1 million people in Niger – or half the country’s population – are still suffering from these extreme food shortages and we need help from the Irish public to continue this good work,” explained Noel Wardick.
As living conditions in households continue to deteriorate and food shortages hit the most vulnerable – children under five – the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) stated last week that it was quadrupling its emergency appeal for funds.
In support of this announcement the Irish Red Cross has called on the Irish public to give what they can as donations to the Niger Emergency Appeal remain very low.
“It is vital that members of the public are aware of the severity of this food crisis and that whatever they give can and will make a big difference to people’s lives. Donations will provide food for the people of Niger, and will also help them plant seeds so that they do not have to suffer a similar fate next year.”
Date: 05 July 2010