Hunger in the news

1 December 2010

The World Food Programme (WFP) tries to help small farmers in developing countries increase their agricultural output. It's a program called Purchase for Progress. WFP just issued a press release about a great development in this program taking place in Mozambique.

3 September 2010

The UN has called an urgent meeting on rising global food prices in an attempt to head off a repeat of the 2008 crisis that sparked riots around the world. (..) In Mauritania in west Africa, rice prices doubled over the first three months of the year, according to the World Food Programme. Over the same period, the price of corn rose 59% in Zimbabwe and 57% in Mozambique.

2 September 2010

Wheat prices rose further on Friday in the wake of Russia’s decision to extend its grain export ban by 12 months, raising fears about a return to the food shortages and riots of 2007-08. In Mozambique, where a 30 per cent rise in bread prices triggered riots on Wednesday and Thursday, the government said seven people had been killed and 288 wounded.

24 August 2010

The World Food Programme (WFP) needs between eight and ten million US dollars to maintain until December its food aid programme in Mozambique, which assists half a million people. WFP representative Lola de Castro told the Maputo paper "Noticias", "let us try to buy now at harvest time when there is a surplus in the north of the country. This will also help farmers marketing their produce. Some districts in Tete have had a good harvest this year. It is places like these where we are trying to buy produce for distribution in the coming months".

31 July 2010

More than 6 million children from primary schools are to benefit from free food distribution, local media reported on Saturday. They said an agreement for the purpose has been signed in Maputo, between the governments of Mozambique and Brazil, and the World Food Programme(WFP).

29 June 2010

The most exciting new idea for tackling poverty and feeding billions around the world has got nothing to do with hydroelectric dams or back-slapping summitry. Instead, this one begins with a story about kung-fu movies. In the mid-90s, Claire Melamed was working in a village in the far north of Mozambique. Nacuca had no electricity, nor running water, and precious few distractions. As the development economist recalls: "Villagers would ask, 'We have to live here, but how come you've chosen to stay?" Then one day visitors came, bearing entertainment.

30 March 2010

Extensive flooding along the rivers of central and southern Mozambique during March, in tandem with persistent drought in other parts of the same areas, have left 465,000 people in need of food assistance, but aid agencies warn that they do not have the resources to help. "We have a very big problem now," said Lola Castro, Country Director of the UN WFP, who told IRIN that her organization could assist only around 175,000 and that by "the end of April the [WFP] pipeline will have dried up".

22 September 2009

Mozambique's National Institute of Disaster management (INGC) said on Tuesday about 275,000 people in the country need food aid after a long dry spell caused crop failure in some parts of the country. (..) the most vulnerable people, particularly women and children, were relying on aid provided by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) through the food for work programme.

20 April 2009

Grain sales in the current agricultural season in Nampula province have been secured following the World Food Programme (WFP) showing interest in buying it, according to a report in newspaper Notícias. The paper added that the United Nations Agency also promised to provide technical and financial assistance to producers after the harvest in building improved warehouses and grain barns, in an effort to ensure the quality of cereals up to their consumption. Over the next few days an WFP mission is expected to arrive in Nampula from its central offices in Italy, to sign a long term agreement with Ykuru, the company that sells agricultural products in the northern province.

14 April 2009

"Now that I have a secure buyer, I will grow a lot more beans," says one farmer who is benefiting from the World Food Programme's innovative Purchase for Progress (P4P) program. Alfredo Muarapaz did not expect the windfall he received a few months ago. But he made good use of it. "I used the money to buy school things for my children, dishes and clothes for my family and even some tools to improve my house," said Muarapaz, a poor, semi-subsistence farmer, who pocketed around $50 (all figures U.S.) from the sale of his small chickpea surplus to the World Food Programme (WFP). It may not sound like much, but Muarapaz lives in Mozambique – a country where over a third of the population survives on less than one dollar per day. And it is certainly enough of an incentive for him to grow a larger surplus next year. "I will plant two hectares and hope to grow 800 kilograms of beans," said Muarapaz, who sold just 150 kilograms this year. "I have not grown many beans until now because I didn't have a buyer, but now that there is a secure buyer, I will produce a lot more." This optimistic production plan is exactly the response that WFP is hoping to foster among smallholder farmers with Purchase for Progress. By providing a reliable market for smallholder farmers, local cooperatives and small traders, WFP is hoping to put more money into the pockets of poorer farmers and to provide them with a powerful incentive to invest and increase production. The idea is that with more produce to sell and more experience as market players, the farmers will connect to other clients besides WFP.