Nigeriens ran out of food months ago. And the slow-burning hunger has recently caught fire: Half of the people in this landlocked West African nation now don't have enough to eat. People are eating leaves and livestock feed in order to survive.
While hunger in Niger is nothing new, this year is particularly bad. Rains failed last year and in some areas, almost nothing was harvested. Nigeriens have been forced to sell off their livestock—the equivalent of a savings account here—before they die. In the face of this crisis, Catholic Relief Services is distributing food, putting people to work and helping those in the greatest need.
All photos by Lane Hartill/CRS
Lane Hartill is the western and central Africa regional information officer for Catholic Relief Services. He is based in Dakar, Senegal.