Hunger in the news

5 June 2009

A United Nations agency has sent nearly 100 Metric Tonnes of food materials to north-west Pakistan to help more than 2 million people displaced due to clashes between the army and militants. The shipment of the World Food Programme (WFP) of a highly nutritious supplement called Plumpy'Doz a peanut paste containing skim milk, sugar, vitamins and minerals will be distributed to children under five years of age. The agency, along with the Pakistani government and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees will hand out Plumpy'Doz as part of a 'service point' approach, in which supplies will be distributed through 28 'humanitarian hubs' in protected areas close to the homes of uprooted families. "Food is a basic building block for life, and in Pakistan, it goes beyond immediate nourishment by providing peace and stability to the human tide of people uprooted by conflict," said Josette Sheeran, WFP Executive Director.

4 June 2009

(..) Some residents who relied on military assurances that the Taliban had been cleared from the area have returned to find continued fighting and were forced to flee again. "They have issued statements saying the militants are not a problem anymore," a representative of Save the Children said of the military. He and others suggested that an independent verification system be established to ascertain security situations in areas the military has pronounced cleared of the Taliban. Humanitarian workers also said that up to 40 percent of the 200,000 people who have registered for assistance in displacement camps -- and the millions who have been given refuge in the homes of friends, relatives and even strangers -- have signed up twice and even three times for benefits. The World Food Program has said it will suspend food distributions for at least several days this week to institute a new registration system.

1 June 2009

The United Nations has been advised by its internal security division not to operate in the area. Officials said recently the world body was considering requesting a humanitarian pause to allow humanitarian agencies to send in supplies and evacuate injured civilians. But aid workers say this has not been discussed in meetings with the government - mainly because the authorities are indicating the offensive in the valley will be over soon. Nonetheless, they underline the need for safe passage into the conflict area. "If we are asked by the government to go in and provide relief to people inside the conflict zone, and if safe passage is given, then we will help," said Amjad Jamal, spokesperson for the U.N. World Food Programme in Pakistan.

1 June 2009

Rising food prices and poverty are posing a serious threat to food security and is manifested in growing malnutrition and hunger, particularly in Balochistan, NWFP and parts of Sindh. This was the conclusion of the consultative meeting on “Planning Household Food Security in Pakistan” organized by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) here. The meeting was attended by eminent policy makers, economists, agriculturists, and nutrition and health experts from government, international agencies, diplomatic corps, and civil society.

29 May 2009

At humanitarian hubs in Mardan and Swabi districts, UNHCR is also distributing other relief supplies such as plastic mats, buckets, jerry cans and kitchen sets to displaced people staying with host families through our local NGO partner Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP). At the same time, people receive food rations from the World Food Programme (WFP).

27 May 2009

As an immediate response and in partnership with UNICEF, the French Ministry of foreign affairs (CDC), OFDA and Shelter Box UK, ACTED has started an emergency distribution of kits (shelter kits, essential family kits and hygiene kits) to more than 2,000 displaced families in camps and informal settlements within Mardan and Swabi districts. In coordination with WFP, ACTED has also taken over the management of the logistic hub in Nowshera and will proceed to the distribution of food to an additional 30,000 highly vulnerable and food insecure people. Our staff is already launching an emergency food relief operation for 10,000 displaced families located in public buildings or hosted by relatives.

27 May 2009

NWFP Relief Commissioner Azam Khan has said that the number of people displaced people coming from Malakand division has crossed 2.4 million while 150,000 people may also migrate in the next few days. Talking to a private TV here in Peshawar on Wednesday, he said two more camps are being set up in Charsadda and Kandpark. The provincial Relief Commissioner said 96 centers have so far been set up for the registration of IDPs. However, he said, complaints of dual entries are still being received. He said at this stage there is more need of establishing food points rather than setting up more registration centers. Azam Khan said World Food Program is setting up five additional distribution points in different areas.

27 May 2009

Clashes between Government forces and militants in north-west Pakistan are continuing to uproot people from their homes, with nearly 130,000 people being registered daily as displaced, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). (...) Along with its partner agencies, UNHCR has begun distributing bricks to families to build individual kitchen stoves – to allow them to cook their own meals with rations from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) – in some camps. Until now, they had been eating cooked meals distributed by the Government.

27 May 2009

The fighting has created the largest population exodus since Rwanda in 1994, and with the vast majority of the displaced living in friends' or families' homes, aid workers warn that their patience will begin to fade. Many of them are already losing their only source of income: crops, which are supposed to be harvested this month and are rotting as the fighting prevents many people from returning to their farms. "People are really getting frustrated. The support they're getting is not what they should be getting," says Amjad Jamal, who works with the World Food Program in Islamabad.

24 May 2009

Ramiro Lopes da Silva, chief operating officer of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), said the world body has got $172 million for internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Swat, Dir and Buner region, $42 million of which had already been spent under this head.