SA sends aid to Niger

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iol pic afr mali dine REUTERS File photo: Militiaman from the Ansar Dine Islamic group, who said they come from Niger and Mauritania, ride on a vehicle at Kidal in northeastern Mali.

South Africa's consignment of aid to Niger has reached Benin by sea, Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Thursday.

On Friday (January 18), 16 206 bags of fertiliser, 4058 bags of animal feed, and 4305 bags of maize meal arrived in Benin's capital city Cotonou and was currently en route by road to Niger, he said in a statement.

A final consignment of 1000 tons of animal feed and five tonnes of summer oil, used to control pests on plants, would leave Durban harbour by the end of January.

Last year, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa would help four Sahel region countries - Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Chad Ä that were 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.

South Africa would also help Niger produce vaccines to inoculate livestock.

The first consignment of humanitarian aid was sent in September last year. - Sapa


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