Page last updated at 09:39 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 10:39 UK

Libya sends relief load to Niger

File photo of Niger
Niger is a vast, arid country often stricken by drought

Libya has sent 30 tons of aid to Niger, one of several African countries struggling to cope with the global rise in food prices.

The aid included medical supplies, clothes, shoes and tents, Libya's state news agency Jana reported.

Medical teams and pharmacists are accompanying the aid to provide medical services and distribute relief.

Last month, aid agencies said thousands of people had left their homes in the south-east due to food shortages.

Niger is one of the world's least-developed nations and more than two-thirds of its people live below the poverty line and 82% rely on agriculture, according to the UN.

Child mortality rates are high, with an estimated one in five children dying before their fifth birthday.

A report in April by international aid groups and the government of Niger said 14,000 people had been displaced in the region of Maradi.

Most of them have fled to cities, with others moving across the border to Nigeria.

The population of one village, Pardakoye, has shrunk from 800 people to 24.

More than three million people were affected by a famine in 2005.

Country profile: Niger
26 Feb 08 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Niger
26 Feb 08 |  Country profiles

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