Hunger in the news

10 September 2009

The UN's World Food Programme launched an international appeal for 5.2 million US dollars (3.5 million euros) Thursday to help feed more than half a million Malawians until the end of next year. "We are seeking donor support to meet the 5.2 million US dollars shortfall to enable WFP provide the food needs of the targeted beneficiaries up to December 2010," Anne Callanan, the WFP's country director, told AFP.

17 July 2009

President Barack Obama need look no further than Malawi to support his argument that with the right seeds, fertilizers and transport, Africa can feed itself.
Once the victim of intermittent famines that left 40 percent of the population dependent on international aid just four years ago, Malawi has become a food exporter. Farmers credit a government program of subsidizing fertilizers for the turnaround.

2 July 2009

Without a doubt I vote H.E. Bingu wa Mutharika, the President of the Republic of Malawi, one of the best performing African Presidents. And the reason for it is simple; in 2004 when he came into power he made a pledge: “I will not be a president who goes around begging for food”. (..) From food exports and sales to the World Food Programme through the Purchase for Progress Programme, the country has been generating in excess of US120 million annually.

19 May 2009

Malawians head to the polls Tuesday for parliamentary and presidential elections in the southern African nation's fourth democratic vote since independence. (..) This year, the global recession will cut growth to just 6.9%, the International Monetary Fund forecasts—a modest drop on a continent that is feeling the pinch of declining remittances, tourism revenue and demand for commodities. Malawi, which once needed help to feed its citizens, now sells food to the World Food Program and donates some to nearby Zimbabwe.

28 April 2009

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomed Tuesday a USD 10 million donation from the Qatar Charity for WFP's emergency operation in Gaza. This contribution is part of a USD 40 million donation from the government of Qatar to a number of UN agencies providing relief assistance to conflict-affected populations in Gaza. WFP's Regional Director for the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe Daly Belgasmi said that his organization is grateful to the Qatari government for this generous contribution. "This vital contribution will help provide assistance to the most vulnerable in Gaza and support WFP's innovative programs there," he said. The funds will be used to purchase urgently needed food assistance to 365, 000 civilians in Gaza inclluding 50,000 schoolchildren in some 85 schools with items such as wheat flour, cooking oil, sugaar and high energy biscuits. WFP is also planning to start a food voucher operation in Gaza.

7 April 2009

A tsunami was the image of choice to describe the blow of last year's food crisis. Today's situation resembles more the slow but relentless surge of a tide, gradually dragging more and more people into the ranks of the undernourished. Almost unnoticed behind the economic crisis, a combination of lower growth, rising unemployment and falling remittances together with persistently high food prices has pushed the number of chronically hungry above 1bn for the first time. The surge has reversed a decline over the past quarter century in the proportion of chronically hungry people in the world. "We are not out of the woods of the food crisis," says Josette Sheeran, head of the UN's World Food Programme in Rome, which needs about $6bn (€4.5bn, £4bn) this year to feed the poorest, up 20 per cent from last year's record of $5bn. [...] Domestic food prices in many developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, have not fallen at all and in some cases are rising again because of the impact of poor harvest and lack of credit for imports. Ms Sheeran points precisely to that problem: "Local prices are rising. For example, the price of maize in Malawi has risen 100 per cent in the last year while wheat prices in Afghanistan are 67 per cent higher than a year ago."

11 March 2009

School lunch programs can offer a calm in the storm of poverty in developing countries. Having children ensured a meal at school is a valuable safety net for poor families. The African nation of Malawi is one country that needs universal school feeding to overcome hunger and poverty. Romina Woldemariam, Deputy Head of the UN World Food Programme in Malawi, discussed this Food for Education initiative in an interview during 2008.

25 February 2009

A peanutty paste has revolutionized the treatment of chronically malnourished children. It's a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) that here in Malawi is called Plumpy'nut Chiponde.