Venezuela Helps West Africa

Venezuela will donate $3 million in food aid to three hunger-stricken West African countries announced Venezuela's Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations.

Caracas – Venezuela will donate $3m for food aid to three hunger-stricken West African countries, a Venezuelan diplomat said.

The largest amount, $1.5m, will go to Niger, while $1m is earmarked for Burkina Faso, and $500m for Mauritania, Venezuelan vice-minister for Africa Reinaldo Bolivar told the state-run Bolivarian News Agency on Tuesday.

The funds will be transferred to an Italy-based aid foundation and then used to buy the food aid in the neighbouring country of Benin.

Venezuela, the world’s No 5 oil exporter, often sends aid to nearby Latin American and Central American countries in times of disaster.

Last month, Venezuela also donated $6.2m to Sri Lanka for victims of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia last year.

Bolivar said Venezuela offered the aid for West Africa in response to a call by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for countries to help east the hunger crisis in the region.

More than a third of the nearly 12 million people in Niger now face severe food shortages.