Hunger in the news

26 May 2011

Rebels in Ethiopia's Somali Region said on Thursday they had seized a town from government troops and freed two U.N. workers who had been missing since an ambush on a U.N. convoy two weeks ago.(..) WFP spokeswoman Judith Schuler said the agency could not confirm the release, but that it had partially resumed operations in the region, which were suspended after the incident.

24 May 2011

The United Nations resumed some operations in Ethiopia’s drought-stricken Somali region as a search for two workers who went missing in an ambush earlier this month continued, a World Food Programme spokeswoman said. “We will resume full operations when it’s safe to do so,” Judith Schuler said in a phone interview today from Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. “We are constantly evaluating the situation.”

19 May 2011

The UN World Food Program (WFP) is hoping to restart operations within days in Ethiopia’s parched Ogaden region, where nearly one-third of the population is in need of assistance. Aid distribution in the Ogaden was halted after a fatal attack last Friday on a team of WFP workers. WFP spokesman in Ethiopia Judith Schuler says there should be little or no disruption in food deliveries in the drought-ravaged Somali region, known as the Ogaden.

18 May 2011

United Nations operations in Ethiopia’s drought-stricken Somali region were suspended after a World Food Programme worker was killed in an ambush on May 13, a WFP spokeswoman said. One person was injured in the attack on the road from the regional capital, Jijiga, to Fik and two others are still missing, Judith Schuler said in an interview from the capital, Addis Ababa, today.

15 May 2011

Ethiopia and U.N. security agencies have launched a search for two aid workers apparently kidnapped in an ambush in the insurgency-wracked Ogaden region. One other worker was killed in the incident and a fourth was wounded. Details of the incident are sketchy. Officials of the U.N. World Food Program say two of their vehicles were ambushed by unknown gunmen Friday in the remote Somali region of Eastern Ethiopia, also known as the Ogaden.

13 May 2011

How much would it cost to prevent a famine? We don’t know exactly, but one answer is surely this: Much less than it would cost to save lives after famine hits. (..) “After the 2003 crisis in Ethiopia there was a big shift in the ways the World Food Program, the World Bank and governments started to look at food security,” said Richard Choularton, Senior Policy Officer for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction at the W.F.P.

10 May 2011

Unusually poor rains in the Horn of Africa, compounded by a shortage of reserve food supplies, have forced Ethiopia to reduce the size of emergency rations to needy citizens. (..) The United States and the U.N. World Food Program are among the main partners, or providers of nutritional assistance. But the WFP relief and refugee section chief in Ethiopia, Giammichele De Maio, says it can take months from the time an appeal is made until the food arrives.

28 April 2011

Ethiopia started an agricultural agency that plans to help double production in the economy’s biggest industry over the next five years, said Wonderad Mandefro, minister of state for agriculture. (..) About 3 million of Ethiopia’s 80 million people are in need of emergency food assistance, the government said on April 12. Another 7.8 million people receive food or cash under an aid program, World Food Programme spokesman Susannah Nicol said in a phone interview yesterday from Addis Ababa.

18 March 2011

A rebel group in Ethiopia's arid Somali region has issued an urgent appeal for humanitarian assistance, accusing the government of blocking aid deliveries. (..)But humanitarian groups reacted sharply to the ONLF allegations. UN World Food Program spokeswoman in Ethiopia, Susannah Nicol, says safeguards are in place to ensure aid reaches the neediest.

24 February 2011

East African countries, particularly Kenya and Somalia, should start preparing for food shortages, the U.S.-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network, known as Fewsnet, said. (..) The United Nations World Food Program needs 647 million metric tons of food for 6.2 million Ethiopians at a cost of about $484 million, according to its website. In Kenya, the food agency is seeking $226 million to purchase 255 million metric tons for about 2.1 million people, it said.