Monday, August 23, 2010

Plug for Women of Niger

While floods destroy lives in Pakistan, drought is starving families in Niger.

At the local health center, Madina Sanoussi, a stern woman who keeps her sentences short and her smiles to a minimum, says that 85 women had been coming every week to receive about 8 pounds of fortified corn-soy blend for their acutely malnourished children. The food was supplied by an international humanitarian organization.

But soon the stream of women turned to a trickle. Then it dried up all together.

"They'd say, 'We don't have money to buy this,' " Madina says. "So they stopped coming."

That's why the arrival of Catholic Relief Services at the local middle school was such a big deal. Several hundred women, including Maimouna, lined up and received corn-soy blend and vegetable oil for their youngest children—those younger than 2. A cooking demonstration over an open fire taught them how to prepare the mixture.

Maybe now is a good time to remember to donate to Catholic Relief Services, or another international emergency aide organization of your choice. (Although CRS is so good, you really need not look further.)

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