Hunger in the news

8 July 2009

A spate of deadly bombings has prompted the United Nations to suspend food distribution to hundreds of thousands of people displaced by fighting in the southern Philippines, a U.N. official said Wednesday. (..) The World Food Program acting director for the Philippines, Alghassim Wurie, said the decision to suspend food distribution was made out of concern for the safety of its workers. (..) "The U.N. in particular is very concerned about staff safety, so we decided to suspend our activities during this week to enable us to understand better the reasons behind these problems," Wurie told The Associated Press.

19 June 2009

The world’s largest displacement of people due to violence occurred in the Philippines in 2008, an international independent humanitarian organization said Thursday. (..) The large number of displaced persons also became a cause for concern for international aid agencies, with the World Food Program then describing it as an impending humanitarian crisis.

16 June 2009

Last year, the young actress was appointed by the UN- World Food Programme as a National Ambassador Against Hunger in the Philippines, with a special mission to highlight the need for effective solutions to hunger and to address humanitarian needs in Mindanao. (..) WFP in the Philippines has been using food assistance and hot meals to boost school enrolment and attendance especially in Mindanao. As a national ambassador, KC has been traveling within and outside the Philippines to raise awareness about WFP programs and operations.

10 June 2009

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and international aid agencies have set guidelines for the distribution of relief goods to civilians displaced by the conflict between the military and the Moro rebels in Maguindanao province, officials confirmed yesterday, following reports that the aid is being sold to commercial traders. As this developed, ARMM officials and representatives of the World Food Program (WFP) failed to start its probe on Monday on confiscated rice intended for the evacuees but allegedly landed in the hands of a private rice trader.

10 June 2009

Regional Governor Datu Zaldy Uy Ampatuan of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) who is also the chairman of the Regional Disaster and Coordinating Council (RDCC) on Tuesday ordered for an immediate probe into the alleged diversion of relief goods intended for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) or evacuees in Maguindanao province that ended up being sold in the public market. (..) The sacks of rice were printed with the logo of the World Food Program (WFP), one of the donor agencies supplying food assistance to the evacuees.

8 June 2009

Many children in the Philippines, especially in Mindanao, go to school hungry, according to the United Nations. Stephen Anderson, UN World Food Program (WFP) Philippines country director, said hunger is on the rise worldwide and in the Philippines. “The rice crisis last year, the ongoing conflict in Mindanao and now the financial downturn globally have an impact certainly in the Philippines,” he said. “These have unfortunately increased the number of needy people.”

8 June 2009

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)- Regional Disaster Coordinating Council (RDCC) has strengthened its coordination with partner humanitarian agencies, donor groups and Local Government Units (LGUs) involved in the distribution of relief assistance to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Maguindanao and other areas in the region affected by the armed conflict. (..) The rice supply was found to be part of the relief assistance or ration intended for the IDPs for the month of May. The sacks bear the name of the World Food Programme (WFP), one of the donor agencies supplying food assistance to the IDPs. WFP is a member of the RDCC-TWG-Food Cluster.

3 June 2009

The Philippines discouraged on Wednesday aid agencies from distributing large amounts of food to internally displaced families on a restive southern island to prevent rice supplies from being handed to rebels. (...) Stephen Anderson, WFP country director, said his agency was aware that some displaced families may have been sharing their food ration with some combatants, but said these appeared to be isolated cases. "We have to work and devise a system to prevent them," Anderson said. "We're doing everything to ensure that food goes to its intended beneficiaries."

27 May 2009

New clashes push back peace talks in Mindanao Scores of people are displaced in Mindanao as troops escalate offensive against rebels. (...) Last year, a UN report said at least 600,000 people fled their homes in the area, the largest number of internally displaced people anywhere in the world. The numbers dropped subsequently but have crept back to about 500,000 since early May, local officials say. People are crammed into mosques, schools, public gymnasiums and in makeshift houses. “We didn’t expect the sudden rise in the number of displaced families in the last two weeks,” said Mishael Argonza of the UN World Food Programme, pointing to lists of families fleeing from their homes and farms in Maguindanao, one of the six provinces. “We were actually expecting the numbers to come down from about 36,000 families to only about 20,000 families by next month. But, we’re seeing more people flocking to our camps and many of them from villages not affected by conflict before.”

26 May 2009

Imagine if you used to eating canned sardines the whole week, perhaps the entire month without feeling satiated or if you have nothing else for dinner, but rice and salt. And imagine a food ration card used as collateral to pay for hospital bills. This is now the dilemma of refugees now housed in temporary shelters in Datu Piang town in Maguindanao, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region and they are left with no choice, but depend on food rations by the World Food Program and International Committee of the Red Cross.