Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The cost of delay - more news from Africa

Niger has been the topic of much discussion over the course of the last few weeks, but for the wrong reason. Niger has come back into focus due to the scandal surrounding the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative shortly after her husband Joseph Wilson wrote a op-ed piece in the New York Times about his trip to Niger which questioned the veracity of statements made in President's 2003 State of the Union address.

Amidst all the discussion it has been lost that Niger is currently going through a food crisis - a crisis that had been predicted months earlier but had gone ignored by the world community. A New Scientist news brief reveals that had the world taken notice earlier the cost of aid to Niger - which the world is now giving thanks to footage of starvation broadcast by the BBC - could have been drastically reduced. Nevermind that it would have saved lives.
In the days of the first appeal, just $1 per day per individual could have offset crisis. But now it will take $80 to save each starving person.

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