NIGER, MICHAEL KAMBER
text and photos by Michael Kamber
This was a tough story to work on.
There were kids dying every day, women were crowding thronging the MSF clinics each morning, skeletal children with skins falling in folds.
For several months MSF (Doctors Without Borders) had been sending me emails
warning that the food shortages in Niger were becoming critical.
There was little interest in the west.
Stories about looming shortages are hard to sell,
Stories about starving babies write and sell themselves.
When the babies started dying, the press showed up en masse and something got done. I wonder what the threshold is to get the wheels turning--how many sacrificial kids does it take.
Is five hundred
enough, one thousand, ten thousand?
In Niger, in “normal years” one child in four dies before his fifth birthday. Clearly the threshold is pretty high.
We just had the G8 conference. Billions in aid was pledged to Africa.
We shall see what it brings.
c Michael Kamber
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text and photos c Michael Kamber