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Niger, Mangaize Refugee camp, 3 May 2012

In Niger, WFP has launched an emergency operation to support 3.9 million people, with a special focus on children under age two.  Around 35 percent of people being assisted will receive cash. Areas where cash transfers will be used have been carefully selected according to how well local markets are functioning, food availability and prices. The operation also includes food relief for Malian refugees and for returning Nigerien workers fleeing insecurity in northern Mali.
So far, around 11,300 metric tons of food assistance have been distributed to more than 1.1 million people since the scale up in November. Of these, 423,ooo people have been provided with support through food-for-work and cash-for-work activities in the worst-affected areas of the country. Around 11,0000 metric tons of food have been distributed through food-for-work and US$4.2 million through cash-for-work since November.
In the last week in April alone, around 264,000 people in Tahoua and Niamey regions benefitted from food for work activities, and more than 100,000 people through cash for work. In April and May, cash and food for work are being scaled up to reach one million people.

WFP Blanket feeding operation WFP provides Super Cereal and cooking oil to mothers with children under two years of age.  Before receiving the food WFP provides a demonstration on how to cook the Super Cereal.

Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud

Bottom left:

Niger, Ouallam, Tolkobey village, 5 May 2012

One month after arriving at WFP, Executive Director Ertharin Cousin was out in the field in the central African nation of Niger, one of the countries most affected by the drought in the Sahel region. After the first day of her field trip, in which she traveled with UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, the WFP chief sent back this account of her experiences.
In the village of Tokolbey WFP is providing nutritional support for about 3,500 babies and their mothers. They are just some of the 39,000 children we are assisting in the Ouallam area, where malnutrition rates hover at the emergency level of 10-14 percent. The mothers line up in the hot sun with crying babies on their backs. Their smiles hide their worry.
Breastfeeding mothers are given a product called ‘Super Cereal’. A micro-nutrient rich corn-based blend, in these situations it is often the only tool available to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. The staff show the women how to mix the cereal  with water over a hot fire to make a yellow soup.

Supplementary feeding site, Tolkobey village (Ouallam) where WFP provides blanket supplementary feeding (BSF) to children aged between 6 and 23 months and to lactating women. The distribution is undertaken by our implementing partner NGO on the ground ABC Ecologie.

Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud