From Africa

Niger, Communications and UNICEF

  Back in 2010 when I was working there as a communications specialist for UNICEF, Niger was facing a humanitarian crisis – a severe food crisis bordering on famine. Drought and high food prices had hugely distressed Nigeriens, especially outside the capital, Niamey: villagers such as the pastoralist pictured below (name withheld) and the two Tuareg men were seeing their livestock dying off because of the lack of food. ‘This year there was so little rain during the growing season that not only did the fields of millet not bloom, but the secondary greens used for animal fodder also failed.’* By…

Travels with the UN – Niger (2010)

  There was a serious food crisis unfolding in Niger and other parts of the Sahel at the time of my appointment to the UNICEF office in Niamey. I was charged with leading a media mission into Maradi and Zinder, two hard hit areas, with Terry Ally, a colleague from the UNICEF UK national committee, as well as a top photographer from Getty Images.   The photographer, Marco di Lauro, had already documented many, many scenes from war zones such as Afghanistan, We would be accompanied by a fourteen men convoy, as al-Qaeda was also a threat in the area…