Another food crisis in Niger

For most of us U.S.-centric political junkies, Niger means uranium, yellowcake, Plame, Wilson, Novak, Libby — you know, the whole sordid Plamegate affair.



But what about Niger itself? Well, you can get more information about it from the CIA, the U.S. State Department, the BBC, and at Wikipedia, among other good sources.



Right now, though, things are bad. According to the BBC, aid agencies are warning that “[t]he food situation in Niger is deteriorating once more, just a year after it was struck by a devastating drought”. Some families have been “reduced to eating leaves from trees, just to get by”. And the crisis is likely to get much worse: “The UN says the 1.5m people it feeds will more than double in a few weeks. By September, 25% of Niger’s 12m people will be receiving food aid, the World Food Programme predicts.”



Plamegate is serious, don’t get me wrong, but there’s much more to Niger than yellowcake.