The death of four US soldiers in Niger last month put the spotlight on the west African country in a way that it has never experienced before.
Already it seems like people's attention is beginning to fade as new catastrophes engulf the news cycle. That disaster took place in a tiny region in the northwest. But on the other side of the country, thousands of miles away in the southeastern city of Diffa, an entirely different tragedy is unfolding.
Nearly one in five people are victims of food insecurity in landlocked Niger, one of the poorest in the world. The reasons are both man-made and natural. The vast, largely agrarian country experiences a rainy season for only two months each year — and, with climate change causing havoc in weather patterns, even that is no longer a guarantee. Irregular and sporadic rainfall has led to four severe food crises in the last two decades.
Now the food crises have taken an even more menacing form, aggravated by the ongoing conflict inside the country as well as in three of its neighbors — Nigeria, Chad and Mali. Full Story