Australian mum blogger travels to West Africa to witness escalating food crisis

A multi-national group of mum bloggers, including one Australian, have begun a four-day visit to Niger to bring attention to an escalating food crisis in the region.

The group consisting of mothers from three countries – Australia, South Korea and Germany - will visit World Vision projects in the drought-affected regions of Niger and report through their blogs on the challenges faced by women and children.

Australian blogger and mother of two boys, Eden Riley, wrote in her pre-departure blog post, “1.3 million children in the region are suffering from acute malnutrition, with 400,000 suffering from the most severe form. Just numbers, really.  I'm going over there to make them not just numbers.”

World Vision Australia social media manager Joy Toose said Ms Riley was an influential Australian blogger with strong networks in the blogging community. Ms Riley is also a World Vision child sponsor.

“Eden’s style of blogging is very personal and her readers trust her to ask the questions they would ask and report back faithfully to them,” Ms Toose said. “We are hoping that as other bloggers rally around Eden and her trip, the food crisis in West Africa will come to the attention of blog readers around Australia.”

The food crisis in West Africa is now threatening around 15 million people, particularly in Mali, Niger, Chad, Senegal and Mauritania. Communities are being pushed to the brink as families ration scarce resources of food and sell animals at plummeting prices. Some have even begun eating animal feed and wild leaves to survive.

In March World Vision Australia launched the West Africa Food Crisis Appeal to help raise funds for the response effort. World Vision’s work in the region includes immediate life-saving interventions like feeding programs for acutely malnourished children and the delivery of food aid as well as long-term solutions like drilling bore wells, distributing seeds and helping families establish vegetable gardens.

As part of the trip to Niger, Eden will be visiting World Vision’s child sponsorship programs where she will see first-hand how these programs help communities cope better with severe events like drought.

Eden’s blog can be viewed at www.edenriley.com and her twitter handle is @edenland.

To donate to the West Africa Food Crisis Appeal go towww.worldvision.com.au or call 13 32 40.

Media contacts: Gabrielle Brophy 0407 575 112 /gabrielle.brophy@worldvision.com.au

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