In the crowd of riotously dressed mothers clasping wailing, naked infants at a Doctors Without Borders feeding center just west of here, Taorey Asama, at 27 months, stands out for a heart-rending reason: she looks like a normal baby.
Many of the others have the skeletal frames and baggy skin of children with severe malnutrition. The good news is that a month ago, so did Taorey.
"When she came here, she was all small and curled up," said her mother, Henda, 30. "It's Plumpy'nut that's made her like this. She's immense!"
Never heard of Plumpy'nut? Come to Maradi, a bustling crossroads where the number of malnourished children exceeds even the flocks of motor scooters flitting down its dirt streets.
At this epicenter of Niger's latest hunger crisis, Plumpy'nut is saving lives, perhaps including Taorey's.
Plumpy'nut, which comes in a silvery foil package the size of two grasping baby-size hands, is 500 calories of fortified peanut butter, a beige paste about as thick as mashed potatoes and stuffed with milk, vitamins and minerals. But that is akin to calling a 1945 Mouton Rothschild fortified grape juice.
Doctors Without Borders is one of the groups providing the product, and the focus of the WaPo story. Donate! (Or to Catholic Relief Services - see this page for info on what they are doing in Niger, and other groups that are distributing this product)
The site for the product from the company that makes it, (and franchises and enables its production locally) including a link to an earlier WSJ article on the product - (pdf format)