SA sends aid to Niger

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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,” spokesman 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 percent 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. - Sapa


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