Plane leaves with food for famine-stricken Niger

21st July 2005, Comments 0 comments

MARSEILLE, France, July 21 (AFP) - A first cargo plane packed with emergency aid for famine- and drought-stricken Niger left here late Wednesday for the northeastern town of Maradi.

MARSEILLE, France, July 21 (AFP) - A first cargo plane packed with emergency aid for famine- and drought-stricken Niger left here late Wednesday for the northeastern town of Maradi.

The Antonov plane chartered by the Reunir association was carrying 18 tonnes of aid including five tonnes of sugar, six tonnes of groundnut oil and seven tonnes of Plumpy'nut, a special nutrient that needs no water or cooking.

The aid airlift was to continue Saturday and Sunday using Transall planes based in Ndjamena and made available to the association by French Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.

The planes were to make between eight and 10 trips between Ndjamena and Maradi over the weekend, taking in 40 tonnes of grain and 28 tonnes of groundnut oil.

The operation was financed by several big companies.

UN relief coordinator Jan Egeland had on Tuesday appealed for millions of dollars in aid from donors to tackle an "acute humanitarian crisis" in the west African state where 2.5 million people, including 800,000 children, are facing famine.

© AFP

Subject: French news

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