Hunger in the news

8 March 2010

Hairdresser Yasmine Beaupin has found a new calling in the wake of the earthquake that ravaged this city: running the affairs of a teeming tent city. (..) The U.N.'s World Food Program is delivering food to 40 communal kitchens in Jacmel, a quake-hit town in southern Haiti. Each group has organized itself to identify who will receive the food, prepare it and distribute it. "The communities are managing themselves," said a WFP spokeswoman.

7 March 2010

In the two months since a massive earthquake shattered Haiti, the U.N.'s World Food Program is still responding to the event and so far has fed over 4 million people there. (..) "They lost relatives, they went through this crisis and at the same time they still had to help those who also needed help," says WFP spokesperson Bettina Luescher. "So it was really an unprecedented situation that our staff was so affected by a disaster and immediately sprung into action."

6 March 2010

From doctors to electrical engineers, journalists to logistics experts, the Rapid Response Corps (RRC) is a Mission Impossible -type collective of Irish Government-supported volunteers, sent to some of the most challenging and volatile environments in the world. (..) We’re working with the WFP, living in rat-infested tents. We go to bed in the clothes we work in, as we’re getting up a few hours later and there’s little point in changing.

3 March 2010

What would it take to transform Haiti's economy such that its role in the global economy is no longer that of providing cheap labor for sweatshops? (..) More than 2.4 million Haitians are estimated to be food-insecure. Acute malnutrition among children under the age 5 is 9% and chronic malnutrition for that age group is 24% (World Food Programme, 2010).

1 March 2010

Witney Joselene lay in a near catatonic state in a tent at the General Hospital, her legs twig-thin, skin blotchy, eyes glassy. (..) Food and nutrition experts in Haiti worry that cases like Witney's -- who died Wednesday of malnutrition complicated by pneumonia -- will increase (..). ``We have no clear figures, but acute malnutrition is definitely a problem,'' said Anna Horner, a nutrition expert with the United Nations World Food Program. Horner and others fear acute malnutrition rates will only exacerbate as the rainy reason comes early next month and thousands of camp dwellers in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas still lack the sanitary living conditions and sufficient shelter they need to avert disease and illness.

24 February 2010

Haiti's government and its foreign relief partners plan to start "decompressing" earthquake-stricken Port-au-Prince by clearing rubble to allow displaced families to return home or be temporarily resettled, Haitian and U.N. officials said on Tuesday.(..) "Colleagues who have been working for 25 years in this business, who have done Darfur, the earthquake in Pakistan, say they have never seen anything like this," said Myrta Kaulard, the U.N. World Food Program's country director for Haiti, who added that food distribution for quake victims was being maintained.

23 February 2010

The World Food Program and other United Nations aid agencies are scaling up their humanitarian operations for millions of Haitians affected by the earthquake (..) And, spokeswoman, Emilia Cassela, says a special rice distribution program started a few weeks ago is reaching many more people. "The total number of people to have received rice rations in the scale up that we have been doing this month is 2.7 million people in Port-au-Prince," she said.

23 February 2010

A family tradition got a big boost of support last week in an innovative way. BOOK IT!, a Pizza Hut sponsored reading program, teamed up with actor and children's author John Lithgow once again for a 3rd installment of America's Biggest Bedtime Story, the largest online bedtime story event for children, parents and teachers. For this year's event, which took place on Feb. 18, Lithgow read from his book Carnival of Animals. (..) BOOK IT! pledged to donate 50,000 meals to Haiti relief through the United Nations World Food Program if the number of participants beat last year's numbers.

22 February 2010

Images of destruction, suffering, loss and chaos in Haiti have filled the news over the past few weeks. (..) In the logistics domain, WFP as the Logistics Cluster leader has encountered, in the words of Mr. Holmes himself, a "daunting logistical challenge."

19 February 2010

Before the calamitous earthquake, Haiti was in the news for another tremor: the global food crisis of 2008. Shortages of rice and the resulting high prices had poor Haitians foraging through dumps and eating concoctions called “mud pies,” mixtures of grain and dirt.