Hunger in the news

29 March 2009

KC CONCEPCION, the eldest daughter of singer-actress Sharon Cuneta, flew to the headquarters of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome last week to plead for more funds—at least $7 million (P340 million)—to help feed poor children in Mindanao. A rising star herself, KC (short for Kristina Cassandra) spoke to some 100 officials and staff members of the WFP as the national ambassador for hunger, a title she shares with actors Sean Penn and Drew Barrymore of Hollywood, soccer superstar Kaka of Brazil, and actor-musician Jang Dong-gun of South Korea. [...] KC was later brought to WFP executive director Josette Sheeran for a private meeting. [...] “Today has been an enormous experience for me. Of course, meeting with Madame Sheeran was a great honor. She listened as I updated her on certain issues concerning our program in Mindanao. To realize that she was aware of who I was, and also recognized my efforts truly surprised and humbled me,” she told the Inquirer.

27 March 2009

A hostage crisis involving three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers may force agencies to stop bringing assistance to some areas, officials told IRIN, as humanitarian workers feel increasingly under threat in the hostile south. Stephen Anderson, the World Food Programme (WFP) country representative, said additional protection measures for his 60 local and foreign staff were paramount as the situation in Mindanao had become "dramatically more insecure". "We can still manage the risk, though we have taken a number of measures in terms of security," Anderson told IRIN. "It [the kidnapping] affects us because we are concerned about the welfare of colleagues who do the same type of work."

24 March 2009

Last January alone, the Japanese government gave an emergency food aid amounting to 860 million Yen (approximately $9.2 million) of 7,500 Metric tons of rice to the IDPs through the United Nation’s World Food Program, aside from providing sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, and plastic sheets for tents, through a GGP project since December 2008.

16 March 2009

The BBC's Jill McGivering looks at prospects for peace in Mindanao, where fighting between Philippine troops and separatist rebels is causing a humanitarian crisis.

11 March 2009

KC Concepcion said she is planning to either write a book tackling her work as a national ambassador against hunger for United Nations-World Food Programme (UN-WFP) or blog about her experience. Concepcion said she wants to follow the example of Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Drew Barrymore. [...] Concepcion also disclosed that she might see Barrymore in Rome, Italy on March 27 when she meets with the UN-WFP executives.

22 February 2009

The United Nations will continue its food aid program in conflict-affected areas in Central Mindanao, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) said in its report. The UN food program benefited a total of 1,611,980 affected individuals in 2007 and has helped boost the peace process in Mindanao. “Currently, WFP has extended its support in Mindanao through the program on Immediate Support to Conflict-Affected Population in partnership with the Philippine government,” announced Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Avelino Razon Jr. who received the copy of the recently released WFP report yesterday. [...] Razon thanked the WFP for prioritizing conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, adding their move would help alleviate the plight of poor and marginalized people in Central Mindanao.

20 February 2009

Japan will show anew its commitment to peace in Mindanao with the inauguration of a Project for Center for Excellence in Humanitarian Service in Cotabato City on Saturday. [...] Japan's assistance for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mindanao, who have been forced to evacuate since last August because of the conflict between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), includes the Grant Agreement signed last month to provide emergency food aid amounting to ¥860 million ($9.5 million), or 7,500 metric tons of rice, through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).

16 February 2009

International relief agencies are continuing their operation amid a series of kidnappings involving foreign aid workers in the troubled southern Philippines, UNWFP said today. "We don't feel we are the targets, but our security experts are closely coordinating with the military," Stephen Anderson, country director of the United Nation's World Food Programme (UNWFP), said while they were distributing relief assistance to thousands of people displaced by the conflict between the military and separates rebels.

16 February 2009

A government order for tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) to move out of camps on southern Mindanao island could expose them to grave danger, as sporadic fighting between government troops and Muslim separatist rebels continues, according to aid workers. [...] Stephen Anderson, World Food Programme (WFP) country director in the Philippines, told IRIN that while the overall situation seemed to have improved, with local governments helping the displaced, people still feared being caught in the crossfire. "Most of the people here are not keen to go back because they do not feel the security situation has improved," Anderson said on 16 February. "In some cases people have lost their homes, and many have lost their livelihoods. This is a big dilemma in fact, because large numbers remain displaced."

10 February 2009

While you are reading this article, somewhere in the world, two or three children might be dying or had just died. Based on the statistic of World Food Program, 18,000 children die each day because of starvation. That is one child after every five seconds. In an effort to combat hunger, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, both operated by Philippine Pizza Inc., donated over P1 million to the WFP on Jan. 29 in a ceremony held at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center. The amount was for the benefit of young children who are pitted in the war-stricken area of Mindanao. The event was graced by Philippine Pizza Inc. chief operating officer Lars Peterson, WFP country director and representative Stephen Anderson, and Social Welfare Department Assistant Secretary Theresa Alano. [...] WFP will use the donation to implement regular school-feeding activities that provide both a daily hot meal and a take- home family ration to 71,000 pupils in 427 schools in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato. “We are concentrating in Mindanao. We have always indicated that we could help the government to extend the program in a national setting. But for now, we don’t want to stretch ourselves so we could have a focus,” Anderson explained why WFP specifically indicated the people in Mindanao as the recipients of the donation.