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
24 March 2014

UN, Aid Officials Plead for End to South Sudan Fighting

United Nations emergency response officials called on the warring sides in South Sudan to stop fighting to alleviate the suffering of the country's people, who are facing extreme hardship as unrest goes into a fourth month and the rainy season looms. (..) Aid agencies including the World Food Program (WFP) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) have reported that their offices, hospitals and warehouses have been looted during the fighting in the country. David Kaatrud of WFP said some aid has been held up at checkpoints that have been set up along roads leading to Jonglei and Unity states, two of the states most heavily impacted by the fighting and the resulting humanitarian crisis.
VOA News
Hunger in the news
24 March 2014

Jordan's 'forgotten' urban refugees from Syria

In Jordan, the vast majority of about 600,000 registered Syrian refugees shelter in towns and cities, not camps, and they are struggling just to survive. Almost four out of five Syrian refugees in Jordan live outside the formal camps, but get nothing like the same amount of international attention. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says it is concerned that many Syrians living in urban areas have "reached the limits of their ability to cope", finding it hard to pay rents, while facing inadequate housing and educational challenges for children. Zarqa is drawing Syrians fleeing the violent three-year civil war because of its proximity to the border and its relative affordability compared with other towns, such as Mafraq and Irbid, where rents and food prices have skyrocketed.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
24 March 2014

UN aid trucks cross from Turkey to Syria

At least 20 humanitarian aid trucks sent by the UN have crossed the Turkish border into Syria bringing food, blankets, mattresses, family kits, hygiene kits, medicines and medical supplies. Four UN agencies are taking part in the convoy with the support of OCHA: the World Food Programme, the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization along with the International Organization for Migration.
Turkish Press
Hunger in the news
24 March 2014

Dallaire: Canada must act in Central African Republic to avoid another Rwanda

The European Union promised to send 1,000 troops, but the plan has reportedly been complicated by Ukraine’s uprising, as European countries want to keep their forces close to home. Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in this impoverished nation of 4.5 million worsens by the day. The rainy season this month will bring disease and make many roads impassable. On Friday, after a two-day visit to CAR, the executive director of the World Food Programme said the food shortage is not only threatening CAR but its neighbours which harbour refugees. “It is not overstating the facts to say that CAR is teetering on the brink of a catastrophic humanitarian disaster,” Ertharin Cousin wrote in her blog.
The Toronto Star
Hunger in the news
24 March 2014

Exodus from CAR results in regional food crisis: UN food agency

The UN food agency said Friday that the exodus of almost 300,000 people from the Central African Republic (CAR) is creating a regional crisis in neighboring countries which are already short of food. Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Program (WFP), said while the international community urgently needs to step up and address the disaster in the CAR, support is also required for the regional refugee crisis. Cousin just finished a visit to the CAR's northwestern town of Bossangoa.
Xinhua News
Hunger in the news
21 March 2014

WFP Airdrops Food in South Sudan

A lack of access and a desperate need to deliver food to starving people in remote areas of South Sudan has forced the World Food Programme (WFP) to initiate food airdrops. “In conflict situations, aid agencies just have less control over what they’re trying to accomplish, so insecurity has really changed the way that we operate,” Steve Taravella, senior spokesperson for WFP, told IPS.
IPS
Hunger in the news
21 March 2014

UPDATE 1-First U.N. aid trucks cross from Turkey into Syria

Several U.N. aid trucks crossed from Turkey into Syria for the first time on Thursday, a Reuters witness said, a step relief officials hope will pave the way for greater humanitarian access to area hardest hit by the country's civil war. The trucks, mostly from the U.N. World Food Programme, crossed at the Nusaybin border post taking food supplies, bedding and medicine to the ethnic Kurdish city of Qamishli in Syria, according to officials. "It is the first time in three years of this brutal conflict that the U.N. has been able to carry aid across into Syria from Turkey," Nigel Fisher, the United Nations' regional humanitarian coordinator, said in a statement.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
21 March 2014

Act Now to Stop Mass Starvation in Central African Republic

Ertharin Cousin, director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), is urging the world to help the starving people of the Central African Republic. Speaking from the war-torn country she warns, "We must not wait until pictures of skeletal, severely underweight, children document our failure and neglect." For what Cousin and her staff are witnessing is a humanitarian tragedy.
Huffington Post
Hunger in the news
21 March 2014

Interview with Executive Director Ertharin Cousin

“I visited Bangui as well as Bossangoa, which is one of the largest cities in the country [Central African Republic]. In Bossangoa I had the opportunity to meet with the Bishop who is housing Catholics, Christian refugees, and the Iman, who is housing all the Muslim refugees. (..) Ninety-four per cent of farmers told us that they have no seeds; they have no tools. (..) We are coming onto the rainy season. This will make it impossible for WFP to move food onto the roads and into these different communities because the roads are impassable during the rainy season.”
BBC World Service
Hunger in the news
21 March 2014

WFP Executive Director Cousin: CAR “teetering on the brink of a catastrophic humanitarian disaster”

People often laugh when I say I like to meet smiling, chubby babies when I’m out looking at World Food Programme operations in the field. But it’s true. A happy, healthy baby is the most obvious sign that we’re getting things right. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that we are going to get things right all of the time, everywhere in the world. The desperate situation I’ve witnessed these past few days in the Central African Republic shows the dangers of ignoring the warning signals for far too long.
CNN: Amanpour

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