Millions face starvation in west Africa, warn aid agencies

Starving people in drought-stricken west Africa are being forced to eat leaves and collect grain from ant hills, say aid agencies, warning that 10 million people face starvation across the region.

With food prices soaring and malnourished livestock dying, villagers were turning to any sources of food to stay alive, said Charles Bambara, Oxfam officer for the west African region.

"People are eating wild fruit and leaves, and building ant hills just to capture the tiny amount of grain that the ants collect inside.

"The situation here in Chad is desperate. There is not enough food in the country, over 2 million people here are not getting enough," said Bambara.

In Niger, which the United Nations classifies as the world's least developed country, starving families are eating flour mixed with wild leaves and boiled plants.

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