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
31 March 2014

Hatred festers as Muslims and Christians suffer in Central African Republic

Now Boda is the Central African Republic’s miniature Sarajevo, a once-wealthy town of diamond, gold and coffee traders, irrevocably marred by ethnic cleansing. Under the watchful eye of French peacekeepers, the Christians are trying to starve out the Muslims. Lorries carrying supplies from the Muslims of Bangui, who are also besieged, sometimes sneak through the anti-balaka checkpoints by tagging along behind convoys of French or African peacekeepers. An eagerly awaited shipment from the World Food Programme is expected today. But it’s not enough. Many of Boda’s Muslim children suffer from malnutrition.
Irish Times
Hunger in the news
31 March 2014

$40 million needed each week to help Syrians

The delivery of humanitarian assistance, particularly to women, in crisis situations requires more innovative and cost effective tools and strategies, a UN official has said. Commenting on the Syrian humanitarian crises, Muhannad Hadi, WFP regional emergency coordinator for Syria and neighbouring countries, said: “The WFP moves around 40,000 metric tonnes of food each month to feed close to four million people across Syria. This is one of the WFP’s largest and most complex operations worldwide. We are grateful for the generous contributions that have enabled us to save lives. The WFP requires $40 million each week to assist affected people in Syria and refugees in neighbouring countries.”
Khaleej Times (UAE)
Hunger in the news
31 March 2014

Here’s What UNICEF and WFP’s New Relief Operation in South Sudan Looks Like

This is an airdrop of food. The airdrop is part of a new humanitarian operation by UNICEF and the World Food Program that launched today in South Sudan. The operation aims to reach some of 250,000 people over the next month.
UN Dispatch
Hunger in the news
31 March 2014

South Sudan war displaced in 'acute' need: UN

War-torn South Sudan is in a "spiralling humanitarian crisis", the UN warned Monday, as top aid chiefs visited the young nation, where more than a million people have fled months of conflict. "People are in acute need," UN World Food Programme (WFP) boss Ertharin Cousin said as she arrived for a two-day assessment. "Large-scale population displacement and disruption of markets and trade routes are creating a food security crisis," she said in a statement. WFP says it needs $224 million in South Sudan over the next six months, while UNHCR has called for more than $370 million to help refugees in neighbouring countries.
Z News/ AFP
Hunger in the news
31 March 2014

Meet Ertharin Cousin: the woman who feeds the world

Ertharin Cousin often wakes up at night, haunted by things she’s seen. It’s part of her job, as the executive director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), to travel to some of the poorest countries in the world, and one particular experience has stuck with her: seeing two children in Somalia, the age of her own grandchildren, who were so malnourished they couldn’t move. Born and raised in the Chicago ghetto, she now runs the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, with a $4.5 billion (£2.7 billion) annual budget (entirely from voluntary donations) and a staff of 13,000. Last year the WFP fed more than 97 million people. No wonder Forbes magazine named her one of the 50 most powerful women in 2013.
The Telegraph (UK)
Hunger in the news
28 March 2014

WFP Chief Calls for Humanitarian Intervention in CAR

The executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) urges the international community to address the disaster in the Central African Republic (CAR) where hundreds of thousands have fled violence and instability to neighboring Cameroon, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “It is a crisis situation,” says Ertharin Cousin of WFP, who recently returned from tours of the CAR and Cameroon. The WFP executive director says the influx of refugees is creating a regional crisis because of food shortages and lack of resources.
VOA News
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

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