Niger is Dying, and the World is Merely Watching

Jan Egeland: “Humanitarian aid can make a lifesaving difference for so many, so quickly, for so little cost, in these acute crises. The people of Niger know this: That’s why many of Niger’s citizens, the poorest of the world’s poor, have donated to a national fund to assist their less-fortunate neighbors.

Their generosity also transcends borders. When the tsunami struck Asia, the people of Niger opened their hearts and wallets. Niger sent $250,000 to the victims – this in a country where the average income is less than $1 a day.

At a time of unprecedented global prosperity, cannot the rich nations do as much for defenseless, starving children?

Jan Egeland is the United Nations under-secretary-general for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief coordinator.