Hunger in the news

20 May 2010

Pointing to his flourishing wheat field in the western Afghan province of Herat, Abdullah says he regrets cultivating the crop. “Wheat is very cheap,” he told IRIN, adding that he would hardly make 50,000 Afghanis (about US$1,050) from his two hectares. “I won’t be able to feed my family properly with this income.” (..) Afghanistan is largely a food-deficit country and millions of its people have been recipients of food aid from the UN World Food Programme (WFP), other aid agencies, and the ICRC for many years.

22 April 2010

Below average rainfall has hit food production in eastern and northeastern Afghanistan where some rain-fed fields have dried out, officials and farmers said.(..)MAIL officials anticipate a good harvest this year - mainly in the south, west and north. But despite this, and a record harvest last year, over seven million people were food insecure and helped by the UN World Food Programme.

13 April 2010

United Nations agencies have distributed 60 metric tons of food to 700 villagers in western Afghanistan in a programme designed to rehabilitate an irrigation canal that is the lifeline of Khosan district and stop locals from working in the heroin industry.(..)At the request of the UN Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World UN Food Programme (WFP) has compensated the canal workers by distributing daily rations.

31 March 2010

Makai is so engrossed at the clattering sewing machine that she barely notices as visitors enter her new workplace. The 35-year-old is one of 2,500 female members of the Agriculture and Handicrafts Association of Parwan Province, a unique organization that she and others say has helped pull their families out of poverty.(..)The association is still partly dependent on support from the chamber of commerce, the World Food Programme and the United States Provincial Reconstruction Team in Parwan.

16 March 2010

UN agencies and the Afghan government are conducting a three-day campaign aimed at vaccinating an estimated 7.7 million children under the age of five against polio, UN officials said here Monday. (..) UN partner agencies reported that 88 percent of the displaced families have received assistance, including from UNHCR, WHO and the World Food Program (WFP).

11 March 2010

The insurgents in Afghanistan have shown interest in negotiating with the UN and aid agencies on humanitarian access and aid distributions (..). “We work closely with local communities to ensure that WFP food assistance reaches the people it is intended to help. In a few areas, if the transporters request it, we ask the Afghan National Police to escort convoys of commercial trucks carrying WFP food,” Challiss McDonough, a WFP spokeswoman in Kabul, told IRIN.

19 February 2010

A senior British commander has warned it could take weeks to wrest control of the Afghan town of Marjah because of determined Taliban resistance (..). Thousands of people have fled the stricken area for the provincial capital Lashkar Gah and neighbouring provinces including Nimroz, where the UN's World Food Programme handed out food to hundreds of hungry families.

18 February 2010

A senior United Nations official today appealed for support for a nearly $900 million plan to assist Afghanistan’s most vulnerable communities who have been affected by natural disasters and conflict, as well as to support longer-term development and reconstruction. (..) number of UN agencies in the area, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) are providing food, health care and other aid.

10 February 2010

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has voiced concern about access to health care for conflict-affected people in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, where a much-publicized offensive by thousands of Afghan and foreign forces is under way. (..) UNHCR and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said they were closely monitoring the situation in Helmand and were standing by to help IDPs. “WFP has food in place in Helmand and is ready to respond immediately to needs,” Challiss McDonough, WFP’s spokeswoman in Kabul, told IRIN, adding that, if necessary, additional food aid would be sent to the province quickly.

27 January 2010

UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday appointed Swedish diplomat Staffan de Mistura as his new envoy to Afghanistan, shortly before departing for a crucial London conference on the war-wracked country's future.