Hunger in the news

19 December 2012

Over 700,000 people could be displaced if military intervention goes ahead next year in northern Mali, according to preliminary estimates by humanitarian agencies, who stress that the numbers are just approximations. (..) Some NGOs have private funding, while the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme in Mali have some funds to pre-position stocks for next year, “but it’s hard for everyone to have the flexibility to do this,” said Allegra Baiocchi, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in West Africa (ROWCA).

10 December 2012

Addressing a meeting at the FAO headquarters in Rome – attended by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Sahel, Romano Prodi, and other senior UN officials and mediators dealing directly with the Sahel crisis – FAO’s Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, noted that the relation between food insecurity, hunger and the dispute over natural resources and conflicts was particularly evident in the Sahel.

20 November 2012

As this year's emergency winds down, the question on aid workers' minds is, "How can the Sahel break from its recurring cycle of food crises?" U.N. Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, David Gressly, said now is the time to end chronic food insecurity. Aid agencies say they are working to build the "resilience" of the most vulnerable communities, but more needs to be done. (..) Aid agencies also say that prevention is cheaper than treatment.

17 September 2012

The growing regularity of droughts across the Sahel region has left millions in need of emergency food assistance, the UN humanitarian food agency announced today, while also warning that malnutrition was still rampant in Senegal, Chad, Niger and Mauritania. A spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP), Elisabeth Byrs, told reporters in Geneva that the UN agency already assisted six million people in the Sahel during the month of July – but cautioned that humanitarian needs still remained “huge” ahead of the October harvest.

1 August 2012

First, came the drought that destroyed their crops, sparking a hunger crisis in a country where already one in five children never reach their fifth birthday. Then, a military coup in Mali's capital, Bamako, ended 20 years of democracy. (..) The conflict has exacerbated an already desperate situation. "Many families literally have nothing to eat," says Malek Triki, West Africa spokesman for the UN World Food Programme. "Their only food is soup made from wild plants that are so bitter, the animals don't even eat them." And, just when it seemed that things couldn't get worse, cue a plague of locusts.

18 July 2012

Heavy rains have fallen over the past three weeks in northern Mali and Niger and that’s resulted in growing swarms of Desert locusts. Efforts are underway to contain the insects in a region that’s already food insecure. (..) The FAO says insecurity in Algeria and Libya hampered control operations, allowing the locusts to migrate across the Sahara.

10 July 2012

The UN says droughts in the African Sahel are set to deepen and become more frequent, as rainfalls dry up and global warming takes its toll - a disaster for all people of the region, almost entirely dependent on farming and animal herding. (..) Amid desertification and drought, tensions rise as rival armed groups vie for control of the impoverished region.

27 June 2012

Clouds of desert locusts have arrived in rebel-held northern Mali, where insecurity has hampered pest control, bringing fears that the insects may devastate a country already struck by drought, conflict, and the displacement of more than 360,000 people. (..) Countries in the Sahel face serious food shortages that have affected more than 18 million people, but in Mali, with its political divisions and unresolved conflicts, a locust invasion would be calamitous.

8 May 2012

The UN estimates the Mali crisis has forced more than 320,000 people from their homes, with 187,000 seeking refuge in neighbouring countries, including Niger - already in the grips of a new drought that has put millions at risk of hunger. World Food Programme chief Ertharin Cousin said her agency needs $100 million (76 million euros) by year's end for Niger. Just 40 percent of the funds required have been raised, she said.

25 April 2012

The hunger crisis in the Sahel region of Africa continues to escalate, with thousands of refugees from Mali possibly running out of food within weeks.