The United Nations on Sunday said 800,000 people in Niger face food insecurity and that some 84,000 are in immediate need of assistance as the humanitarian crisis worsens in the impoverished landlocked African nation.


Struck by droughts and shortages of crops, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned in a bulletin that the hunger season, from June through August, poses a significant danger.

The harvest generally comes in September.

OCHA said that of the 800,000 people facing food shortages among Niger's 17 million population, 84,000 have no more food reserves and are in need of immediate assistance.

The agency said the eastern Tillaberi and Tahoua regions, as well as the central-south region of Zinder are the most affected by the food crisis.

The crisis has forced some to live on leaves and wild berries, or to sell their cattle or agricultural equipment.

Niger, one of the world's poorest countries, is regularly hit by food crises.

According to the European Union, 10.3 million people face food shortages this year in the Sahel region which includes Niger.