SA sends aid to Niger

2012-09-07 13:58
Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

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Johannesburg - South Africa's first consignment of humanitarian aid to Niger will depart on Monday, the international relations department said.

"The aid... will take the form of four consignments by air of 100 tons of maize power boost and nutrition suitable for children under five years," spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement on Friday.

"This will be followed by a mixed consignment of maize power boost and a bio-pesticide requested by the government of Niger to fight food crop infestations."

In March, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane committed South Africa's assistance to four Sahel region countries -Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Chad - suffering from severe climatic conditions.

The Sahara Desert takes up much of the land area of the Sahel countries.

About 80% of the people living in the region are dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods, and are regularly affected by droughts, floods, and locust swarms.

Monyela said the consignment would also include 12 000 protection kits to use during the application of the bio-pesticide.

Another shipment of fertiliser, animal feed, and more of the maize power boost will be shipped by sea towards the end of the year.

Monyela said South Africa would also assist Niger in the production of nine million doses of vaccine to inoculate livestock.

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