Thursday, July 28, 2005

Niger famine may kill millions


INTERNATIONAL aid agency Oxfam has urged the UN to create a $US1 billion ($1.32bn) emergency fund at a summit in September, to prevent future famines such as that devastating Niger.

British Development Secretary Hilary Benn threw his weight behind the appeal, denying the British Government had been dragging its feet over the famine, the scale of which he said became clear only in the middle of May.

However, British-based Oxfam said the famine, which is threatening 3.6 million people in the West African nation – including 800,000 children – was predicted more than six months ago.

In 50 days time, UN countries are due to gather in New York for an annual meeting at which the fund is on the agenda.

"If the proposal is agreed, UN member states would pay into the permanent fund so that when a country such as Niger needs assistance, money would be available immediately," Oxfam said....

On the other hand, given the "money for oil" aka money for palaces and bribes scandal at the UN, perhaps a better idea would be to give the money straight to for me...

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