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Niger UNICEF rushes to distribute Frenchdonated livesaving supplies

As the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) moves quickly to expand its emergency response to the food shortage crisis in Niger, the French Government has donated to the agency some 1.7 tons of essential drugs and other life-saving supplies to help save tens of thousands of children and their families facing starvation.According to UNICEF, French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Philippe Douste-Blazy, arrived in Niamey, Niger over the weekend accompanying an air-lift, which included antibiotics, anti-malarials and de-worming tablets, as well as special oral re-hydration salts for the treatment of diarrhoea in severely malnourished children.The French government also airlifted another 35.4 tons of therapeutic milk, therapeutic food and oral re-hydration salts to Niamey. All of these life-saving supplies were donated to UNICEF Niger, along with 2.6 tons of locally-purchased therapeutic food. These essential supplies will be used immediately to help save the lives of vulnerable children affected by the food crisis in Niger.UNICEF estimates that 160,000 children in Niger are suffering from moderate under-nutrition and another 32,000 children are suffering from severe under-nutrition.As the crisis has deepened in recent weeks, UNICEF has delivered more than 41 tons of therapeutic milk and 1.5 tons of therapeutic food – Plumpy’nut – to the Government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The agencies’ therapeutic food purchases are now supporting 10 fixed therapeutic feeding centres and 21 outreach therapeutic centres. read more