Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Niger Junta Respond to Last Year’s Drought

In response to last year’s failed rains and widespread hunger of over 10 million people, Niger’s military government announced on Saturday a plan to distribute food to over one million people. The junta has also been willing to work with foreign aid agencies; such an operation stands in stark contrast to the junta’s historical role in social welfare.

The domestic aid effort is looking to distribute over 21, 000 tons of food to the worst hit regions, and junta officials are due to travel to Brussels this month to persuade the European union to unblock $450 million of development aid frozen in protest at Tandja’s power grab.

The junta took power last February in retaliation of President Mamadou Tandja’s attempt to change the constitution to extend his term in office. The military government has pledged, however, to return power to the civilians by next February although they have yet to set a date for elections.

-Michelle Leung

Source: Africa Good News