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Medical charity disputes Niger accuations

NIAMEY, Niger, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- French medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, Doctors Without Borders, says accusations of dishonesty against it by the government of Niger are untrue.

Niger Health Minister Issa Lamine told local media last weekend that MSF's claims the country is facing a serious malnutrition epidemic are being exaggerated by the charity in order to attract donations.

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Lamine said the situation was "not dramatic," but MSF President Marie Pierre Allie has disputed those claims, the BBC reported Wednesday.

Allie told the broadcaster MSF was using the government's own figures when it said 8,000 children had been deprived of treatment since the nonprofit was banned from working in the country in July.

Malnutrition in Niger is critical, she told the broadcaster, adding, "Saying that MSF is forging numbers to collect money is unacceptable. MSF is communicating to report on the situation, what's happening to the population we're serving, and not to collect money."

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