Starving women and children look for cattle pellets, dropped by plane, to use for human food in, one of the worst droughts since biblical times. The frightful drought is afflicting an estimated 25 to 30 million people living in six nations of French-speaking West Africa. Of that number, some ten million are already weakened by hunger and malnutrition, and many of them face death unless aid comes quickly. Six nations are involved: Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Upper Volta. Of these, Niger is by far the worst off. The drought in the Sahel, as the French call these lands on the southern rim of the Sahara, began five years ago. It became critical only this year as water wells began to dry up.
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