Hunger in the news

20 July 2009

Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has been hard hit recently by repeated droughts. Many families have lost their livestock and are unable to support themselves. This tragedy has been compounded by the "silent tsunami" of high food prices which struck in 2008. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently reported that drought and high food prices have pushed 12 million people into hunger. Jennifer Parmelee, a WFP officer, says that "In Ethiopia, poor families have now taken to eating "in shifts" – the eldest child on Monday, the next oldest on Tuesday, the youngest on Wednesday, and so on."

15 July 2009

Transport delays from Djibouti have led the World Food Programme (WFP) to begin diverting vessels carrying food assistance to the Port of Sudan and the Port of Berbera in Somaliland, where trucks will transport the aid to Ethiopia. This decision by the WFP was a result of the Ethiopian Government ostensibly prioritising the transportation of fertilisers from the Port of Djibouti to crop producing areas of the country with the intention of trying to increase production at the next harvest.

3 July 2009

It is celebration time for Ethiopians outside their homeland especially for those in the democratic West. The recession has been brutal on immigrants more so on those that are in the service sector. (..) As for the alarm regarding the food shortage Ato Meles said “We have hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat in our store houses here in Ethiopia.” Both World Food Program (WFP) and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) agree the situation is cause for alarm.

29 June 2009

This week’s humanitarian situation update by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that standard nutrition surveys are needed in the affected areas in different regions to assess the scope of the situation. (..) According to the latest Ethiopia Market Watch issued by the World Food Programme (WFP), general inflation based on the monthly moving average stood at 44.3 percent in April 2009, with food inflation at 57.2 percent and non-food inflation at 24.6 percent. This represents a slight decrease since March 2009, when the general inflation rate stood at 45.2 percent.

26 June 2009

The late start of Ethiopia's wet season and the unreliability of the rains could affect crop production this year and increase the number of those in need of aid, officials said. (..) The late start of the early rains meant that only 50-70 percent of land planned for planting was sown by mid-April, according to the World Food Programme (WFP).

22 June 2009

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that it is running out of food for at least five million Ethiopians who rely on its help. The crisis had been exacerbated by the Ethiopian government's decision to prioritize fertilizer imports before food aid at the crowded Djibouti port, according to it. (..) Barry Cane of WFP in Ethiopia said that the problem had been exacerbated by the difficulty of actually getting food into Ethiopia. Currently, there is little prospect of food supplies arriving at the Port of Djibouti for the next five months. "We have a small refugee population here and their ration is being cut by half beginning this month. We have run out of food and people will be very hungry," claims Cane.

17 June 2009

The UN has warned that it has run out of food to provide for nine million Ethiopians who rely on its assistance. (..)The UN World Food Programme says breast-feeding mothers, children and refugees will be among those worst hit. It warns after it hands out final rations this month there will be no further deliveries until September or October. (..) "We have a small refugee population here and their ration is being cut by half beginning this month. We run out of food and people will be very hungry," WFP's Barry Came told the BBC.

11 May 2009

The United Nation's World Food Program (WFP) said on Friday it was to launch 5th "Walk-the-World" event in Addis Ababa. It said the walk was being organized as part of a larger advocacy and fundraising strategy consistent with WFP's commitment to end child hunger and the United Nation's Millennium Development Goal- to halve hunger by 2015.

17 March 2009

Ambassador Sheila Sisulu is the Deputy Director of World Food Program. Before joining the WFP she was the Ambassador of South Africa to Washington and before that she worked for the state of South Africa in Education. The last sixteen years she is working in the area of food security in WFP. Walta Information Center has got an opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with her while she was visiting Ethiopia recently. Q: Could you brief our audience the major objectives of WFP? A: We work globally but we implement our programs locally.

5 March 2009

Saudi Arabia has announced the arrival of the first food crop harvested in Saudi-owned farms abroad, in a sign that the kingdom is moving faster than expected to outsource agricultural production. Rice, harvested in famine-hit Ethiopia by a group of Saudi investors, was presented to King Abdullah recently and comes as other countries are still in the early stages of investing in overseas farms. The Ethiopian origin is likely to raise concerns about the trend to outsource food production to poor African countries, some of which suffer from chronic hunger. In the past year the United Nations World Food Programme has helped to feed 11m people in Ethiopia, which has suffered crop failures and food distribution problems. Some analysts argue that foreign investment in agriculture, even if earmarked for export, could ultimately help poor countries, providing them with employment, infrastructure, access to agricultural technology and export tax revenues. However, western agriculture officials familiar with the Saudi plans say they are sceptical that the kingdom's investment in food production overseas will help poor countries such as Ethiopia.