Poor rainfall and sharp increases in the cost of food are causing a food crisis in West Africa, with Niger the hardest hit country, according to the Red Cross, Oxfam and the UN World Food Program. In Niger there are 8 million people at risk of severe malnutrition or death. The crisis is also affecting education -- as nomadic parents are taking their children from boarding schools, which are unable to provide meals. These families travel great distances in search of sustenance, often failing.
RAIN will provide lunches through the end of the school year, then residential summer programs for children in need, as well offering feed, subsidized if able to pay, or free, for livestock- the nomads' source of meat, milk and income.
Niger is still feeling the effects of the terrible drought of 2005; which caused widespread starvation. This year's rains were sparse and nomads cannot find pastureland. When animals die, food security dies with them, and families cannot recover.