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Schools empty as food shortage worsens

Niger, April 2, 2012

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Photo Credit: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

Twelve-year-old Lauretta was forced to drop out of school to help keep house and watch her younger brother while her mother forages for food to feed the family. Schools in the Tillaberi region, hard-hit by the increasing food crisis in Niger, are growing emptier by the day as children help gather wild seeds and roots to eat, or must leave their villages on their own to find work to pay for what little — and expensive — food is still on the market.

Lauretta dreams of returning to fifth grade and working to become a school teacher. "I miss school very much," she told me. "I want to go and learn so I can help my mom in the future more."

Click here for details on Mercy Corps' latest efforts to provide cash-for-work and therapeutic food to hungry families.