Wenn man sich Tomaten nicht mehr leisten kann

Stell dir vor, du könntest dir eines Tages keine Tomaten mehr kaufen. Weder um Salat zu machen, noch um damit zu kochen. Du kannst dir auch nichts leisten, was Tomaten auch nur enthält. Das Problem ist nicht, dass es keine Tomaten in den Läden gebe, sondern, dass du sie einfach nicht bezahlen kannst. Und was wäre, wenn es nicht mehr nur um Tomaten geht, sondern um jedes Nahrungsmittel, von dem unsere Gesundheit abhängt? Was, wenn einfach alles, was du dir normalerweise im Laden zu essen kaufen würdest, auf einmal unbezahlbar ist?

Genau das passiert gerade in Teilen Nigers, einem Land in Westafrika, wo Millionen Menschen die Mangelernährung droht. Lest hier den ganzen Blog von Save the Children Mitarbeiterin Annie Bodmer-Roy, die sich zurzeit vor Ort in Niger befindet.

Imagine a scenario where you can’t afford tomatoes. You can’t buy tomatoes yourself for making salads or cooking at home, nor could you afford to buy anything that had any tomatoes in it. The problem isn’t that there are no tomatoes at the shops – just that you can’t afford to pay for them. You would see them in the aisles at the supermarkets, you would pass them by, piled up on top of each other or arranged in small plastic boxes, but you wouldn’t be able to buy them. The prices have gone up and they’re just simply out of reach.

After some time it would get inconvenient, even annoying. But it wouldn’t be the end of the world. To put it bluntly, you wouldn’t starve.

But what it is wasn’t just tomatoes, but all foods you relied on to stay healthy? What if everything – all foods you would normally have access to at the shops – was simply too expensive, and out of reach?

This is what’s happening in parts of Niger, a country in West Africa where millions are at risk of malnutrition.

It’s a country where a large part of the population relies on the markets for food. It’s also a country where in the past year, a combination of rising food prices and insecurity in neighbouring countries mean that today families can no longer turn to the market to buy what they need to survive. The food there is in the market has become hugely unaffordable for thousands as prices of some goods have hugely spiked while parents are bringing home even less than before, if they’re lucky. Many aren’t bringing home any money at all.

What about growing your own food, you may ask. Many Nigerien families do in fact try to grow their own food – especially the staples here, like millet or sorghum, often pounded down and mixed with water or milk to make porridge. You would think this could maybe solve the problem, and reduce their dependence on the markets. The problem is, Niger is also a country where in the past year, a combination of failed rains and crop shortages mean that the food simply isn’t growing – and so families reliance on getting their food from the markets has actually increased at the same time as the prices have gone up, bringing the food they need even more urgently as their own crops fail, that much more out of reach.

If you were these parents, how long could you hold out, not being able to afford the food there was in the markets, not being able to grow anything yourself? How long would you be able to feed your children, many of whom haven’t gotten enough to eat on a regular basis for years? These parents are doing all they can to keep their children alive – they are selling whatever assets they have at below market rate, and reducing the number of meals to only eating once a day. Some are taking their children out of school to help find money and bring costs down, and some resorting to eating food meant for animals.

This is what’s happening in parts of Niger, a country many wouldn’t locate easily on a map.

It’s the country I’ve just arrived in, where I’m now travelling to some of the hardest-hit areas to witness first-hand what a food crisis on this scale looks like, and where I’ll hear from mothers what it feels like to know theirchildren are so badly malnourished, they might not make it to their fifth birthday.

Even before I get land, I want to tell these parents not to worry, that the worst will not happen, not if we can help it.

If we can help it. Can we? The truth is, although we are already helping and we have been for years, it’s just not enough for the scale of crisis that’s hit. Today, a million children are still at extreme risk across the Sahel region – because on top of the crisis in Niger, similar situations are unfolding in neighbouring countries like Mali, Mauritania, and Burkina Faso.

We know there is more we can do to, more children’s lives we can save before it gets to be too late. But we also know there’s no way we can do this without help. Your help may well mean the difference between life and death for some of these children. Please help us give them a chance.

Hier könnt ihr die Nothilfemaßnahmen von Save the Children unterstützen!

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