Niger's government hopes to be able to provide its most vulnerable populations with enough low-cost cereals to tide them over until the first cereal harvests in August, state officials said on Tuesday. Nafoga Adamou, coordinator of the Early Warning Unit at Niger's Systeme d'Alerte Precoce/Gestion des Crises (Early Warning/Crisis Management System), told IRIN that food donations and purchases by the state amounted to some 24,000 mt.

A growing number of civil society groups Saturday urged detained students of the University of Niamey to end their two-week hunger strike. In a press briefing, the groups called on political parties, trade unions and associations to mobilise and join a protest march planned for Sunday in Niamey. The march is meant to urge the government to settle the crisis at the university, which began after a confrontation between the security forces and the students on 21 February.

The government of Niger has sent out and urgent appeal for emergency aid of some 60,000 tonnes of cereals for May-August to avert the wave of famine in the country.