NEW YORK, July 23 (UPI) -- A United Nations official says "the world has finally woken up" to the crisis in Niger, where thousands of children face death from starvation.
"It took graphic images of dying children for this to happen," Jan Egeland, the head of UN humanitarian relief, told the BBC.
The United Nations is seeking more than $30 million in famine relief aid for Niger. Egeland said only about $6 million has been paid, with another $10 million pledged.
The Guardian reported 16 tons of cooking oil, sugar and fortified peanut butter paste arrived in the country Friday. Another food shipment, including 40 tons of millet and 28 tons of oil, is scheduled for the weekend.
Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world. A combination of drought and a plague of locusts has devastated millet crops, leaving as many as 2.5 million people at risk of starvation.