Without livestock aid the crisis in Niger will worsen and more food and other aid will be needed. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) issued an urgent appeal today for livestock aid for more than 10,000 Niger families who have lost their animals. It is estimated that 3.5 million – more than a third of Niger’s population – are experiencing chronic food shortages. Food crops have been decimated by drought and locusts, and millions of livestock have perished. Many of the poorest and most vulnerable families are dependent on livestock for food and income. Milk is particularly important for children’s nutrition. Now the rains have come, pasture is available, but many of the animals have died and any remaining livestock are in very poor condition, with little milk being produced. FAO is appealing for livestock, livestock feed and veterinary services to help Niger people rebuild their lives and livelihoods.