CaptionThe fingers of malnourished Alassa Galisou (1) are pressed against the lips of his mother Fatou Ousseini at an emergency feeding center. One of the worst droughts in recent times, together with a particularly heavy plague of locusts that had destroyed the previous year's harvest, left millions of people severely short of food. Heavy rains promised well for the 2005 crops, but hindered aid workers bringing supplies. Relief had been slow to come. Accusations were leveled variously blaming the United Nations, Western governments, the international aid community and officials in Niger itself for failing to respond early enough to an imminent crisis.