Hunger in the news

29 June 2010

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Tuesday said it has begun installing cleaning and drying equipment in nine public warehouses in Uganda to improve the quality of grain produced by smallholder farmers. The UN's food aid agency office here said in a statement that the farmers would also be able to store their grain at the warehouses until it could raise a good price.

25 June 2010

Six years ago, Elias Simuntu was like many small scale farmers in Uganda- wondering how to earn more income from his farming activities. (..) Simuntu says that farmers were in 2008 boosted by the direct purchase of WFP from their group. The WFP, which is the leading single food buyer in Uganda and many African countries, through its Purchase for Progress initiative is now purchasing food items direct from small holder farmers.“The direct purchase by WFP has helped us a lot as farmers, compared to the former system of tendering. You could tender to WFP 10 times and you never get the contract to sell them your food crops,” Simuntu says.

24 June 2010

THE World Food Programme (WFP) will stop distributing relief food to about 100,000 individuals in Acholi next month, the deputy country director, Hakan Tongul, has said. However, Tongul said the UN agency would continue supporting about 32,000 malnourished children. “We shall now concentrate on supporting the returning population to enable them recover and become productive again. That way, communities will absorb the extremely vulnerable as they did traditionally,” Tongul said in a statement on Tuesday.

17 June 2010

A change in policy could play a big role in reducing the cases of spina bifida and hydrocephalus in Uganda. The Uganda National Bureau of Standards is creating more awareness of food fortification and training food inspectors in anticipation of the day the government will make food fortification mandatory, writes Esther Nakkazi.(..) government should target institutions like schools, prisons, the army, and hospitals to be supplied with foods that are fortified. (..) the MOH-GAIN project has partnered with World Food programme, which now has a policy to supply only fortified foods.

1 June 2010

Colleagues of Ben Lolim in the Ministry of Works were surprised when he suddenly announced his intention to resign. Lolim had worked as a driver in Government for many years. (..) Lolim says he is now in position to sell his maize to WFP in big quantities. WFP has earmarked USD 100 million to buy farm produce in Uganda this year, for redistribution in famine stricken areas in the region.

31 May 2010

Hundreds of opposition youth in Uganda have threatened to disrupt the International Criminal Court (ICC) conference, scheduled to begin today in Kampala, if the court does not take up their petition to see those who were responsible for the alleged deaths of more than 30 people in last September's riots brought to justice (..). The World Food Programme (WFP) announced it expects to buy 40% more food from Ugandan farmers for its food programmes by the end of the year. A successful harvest of maize in Uganda at the end of last year and the beginning of 2010 drove down food prices enabling WFP to shore up its reserves, reported Reuters. By 2011, the WFP estimates it will be spending $100m on Ugandan produce.

31 May 2010

 Lynet Nalugo dug a cassava tuber out of her field and sliced it open. Inside its tan skin, the white flesh was riddled with necrotic brown lumps, as obviously diseased as any tuberculosis lung or cancerous breast. “Even the pigs refuse this,” she said. The plant was what she called a “2961,” meaning it was Variant No. 2961, the only local strain bred to resist cassava mosaic virus, a disease that caused a major African famine in the 1920s.

28 May 2010

THE U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) will spend 40 percent more buying food in Uganda this year, as it uses low prices to shore up reserves, a senior WFP official has said. Uganda harvested a bumper maize crop during late 2009 and the first quarter 2010, flooding markets and triggering a plunge in prices.

26 May 2010

World Food Programme (WFP) will spend 40 percent more buying food in Uganda this year, as it uses low prices to shore up reserves, a senior WFP official said.(..)So far by the end of May ... we'll have purchased almost $25 million worth of food commodities in Uganda," WFP Uganda country director, Stanlake Samkange, told Reuters. "That's a bit ahead of where we were last year and I think by the end of the year we'll be in the $60 to $70 million range, which will be a significant increase over last year's $50 million," he added.

18 May 2010

The Government should provide pupils with meals to encourage them to stay in school, former US Senator George McGovern has said. “One of the means to advanced education would be making sure that students are well nourished,” he said.(..)McGovern is on a three-day state visit to assess the work of the World Food Programme and promote President Barack Obama’s food security initiative, which aims at increasing investment in agriculture to fight hunger.