Millions face starvation as Niger prays in vain for rain

Independent (UK): To the north of Niger, the creeping Sahara; to the south, oil rich and agriculturally lush Nigeria -- this nation straddles the Sahel -- dry, hot and cruel. It has suffered catastrophic droughts -- 1974, 1984 and 2005. And now, another. Five times the size of the United Kingdom, Niger is one of the poorest nations on earth with child mortality worse than Afghanistan. The absence of regular rainfall throughout 2009 has led to poor harvests, lack of grazing for animals and food reserves ......

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