Hunger in the news

A daily selection of news reports from the world's media dealing with hunger and responses to it.
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Hunger in the news
28 March 2014

In Central African Republic, a ‘very desperate situation’ in makeshift camps

The U.N. World Food Program, which operates in war-torn nations such as Syria, can’t distribute food within the camp because it’s too dangerous, said Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Program. She recently returned from a week-long visit to the Central African Republic and could see the camp from her airplane window. Some of the people who live there, including armed fighters involved in the country’s conflict, get violent when food, water or anything marketable arrives, Cousin explained, so it’s too risky for the residents and the aid workers. “When we go into those kinds of areas, we make ourselves prey for those who are participating in the conflict.
PBS NewsHour
Hunger in the news
27 March 2014

Pontiff and President Seek Common Cause Amid Prickly Issues

They are an unlikely pair with seemingly much in common: an Argentine pope and an American president who each burst onto the global scene as a history-making change agent, each promising to promote a new post-partisan ethos, each having made the cover of Rolling Stone. But when President Obama and Pope Francis meet on Thursday, the question is whether the common arcs of their political biographies also amount to true political common ground. Having spent the first leg of his European tour consumed by the Ukraine crisis, Mr. Obama arrives at the Vatican hoping to change the subject to income inequality and America’s struggling middle class, a topic in which his aides see similarities to the antipoverty economic themes embraced by the pope in his first year.
The New York Times
Hunger in the news
27 March 2014

Nigeria braced for potential food crisis as forecasters predict short rainy season

Nigeria is facing a possible food supply crisis this farming season, according to traders, as the agricultural sector grapples with a predicted shorter rainy season, sectarian violence and greater demand from Niger. Food experts have raised the alarm after the country's meteorological agency said this year's rainy season could be shorter than usual, compounding a likely fall in production due to insecurity. Nigeria's agricultural sector is heavily dependent on the rains, with the bulk of its produce cultivated in the north and central region.
The Guardian
Hunger in the news
27 March 2014

Women: Victims of conflict or agents of change?

Women are the biggest victims in natural disasters and conflicts, yet they are also the most resourceful. Thus, aid agencies should do more to develop women as agents for change and development. This is the takeaway message from this year’s Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD), where hundreds of delegates from UN agencies, NGOs, donor agencies, regional organizations and Red Cross and Red Crescent societies gathered on 25-27 March to discuss women and aid. “It is women who most often bear the crippling consequences [of crises] - be they physical, psychological, social or economic,” Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), told delegates.
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
26 March 2014

Humanitarian crisis looms as refugees from South Sudan pour into Ethiopia

Refugees from South Sudan are also escaping south to Uganda and Kenya and north to Sudan, but with the onset of the rainy season, options will be limited and many more civilians will be driven towards Ethiopia. Transporting food and other supplies to the refugees will become more difficult and expensive as the few existing roads, many of them little more than dirt tracks, become impassable. Then there are the additional threats around sanitation and health – malaria, diarrhoea and cholera included.
The Guardian
Hunger in the news
26 March 2014

This year at DIHAD: Women and aid

The 10th annual Dubai International Humanitarian Aid Development Conference and Exhibition (DIHAD) is themed Women and Aid. IRIN is the media partner of this year’s conference. Other speakers and panellists are from: the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Red Crescent Societies, European Commission - Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO), ActionAid, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Overseas Development Institute (ODI), International Organization For Migration (IOM), World Health Organization (WHO), Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
26 March 2014

UN chief says both sides block aid to Syrians

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed the Syrian government and opposition Monday for escalating violence and blocking aid to millions in desperate need of help, despite pledges from both sides to comply with a Security Council resolution demanding immediate access everywhere in the country to deliver aid. Despite the worsening security environment, the UN World Food Program and its partners provided food to 3.7 million people in February, Ban said. But he added, "the assistance reaching people continues to fall far short of what is required to cover even their basic needs."
China Daily
Hunger in the news
26 March 2014

Crisis in CAR: forgotten – now ignored?

The UN says almost a million people are displaced within Central African Republic, or seeking safety in neighbouring Chad and Cameroon, representing nearly a quarter of the population. During a World Food Programme visit, executive director Ertharin Cousin warned: "The people who have been affected by the crisis here in the Central African Republic are not only being forgotten, they are now being ignored and we cannot allow children to go hungry, we cannot miss the planting season while the world ignores the people of CAR."
Al Jazeera
Hunger in the news
24 March 2014

We're Wasting A Third Of The World's Food

While 3.1 billion tons of food fails to reach an estimated 870 million people, the rest of us are wasting roughly one-third of the food we do have. It gets worse: That waste creates a carbon footprint equivalent to 3.3 billion tons of CO2.
Huffington Post
Hunger in the news
24 March 2014

Aid workers distribute food in Haiti as nation struggles with drought

Aid workers in Haiti have begun distributing food to help some of the Caribbean nation’s poorest people cope with a severe drought, an official with a United Nations agency said Thursday. The World Food Program on Wednesday began handing out cereal, vegetable oil and iodized salt to 10,000 people in towns in the northwestern peninsula of Haiti, WFP program chief Antoine Renard said.
The Toronto Star

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