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
11 April 2009

Southern Nepal faces food deficit for first time

For the first time, southern Nepal's Terai districts -- the country's food basket -- have faced a food deficit, local media reported on Saturday. According to eKantipur.com, at least eight Terai districts -- Sunsari, Saptari, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Siraha, Kailali and Dhanusha -- didn't produce adequate food grains for themselves this year, said the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC). [...] The United Nations World Food Program has already warned that the winter drought, which would cause crop losses of between 30-70 percent, would push two million people toward hunger.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
10 April 2009

How To Stop The Somali Pirates

The Somali pirates' hijacking of the 508-foot U.S.-flagged container ship Maersk Alabama two days ago merely crowns a growing trend. [...] There were six attacks this past week alone before the seizure of the American ship, which was carrying food and agricultural products to Mombasa, Kenya, to supply the World Food Program and the U.S. Agency for International Development. At the moment, pirates are holding some 14 ships for ransom. [...] Taming Somali pirates will ultimately require rebuilding the Somali state in such a way that young men can both find viable means of support other than maritime banditry and be subject to law enforcement.
Forbes
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

Return to Mannar

The Government is planning to begin the resettlement of civilians displaced by LTTE atrocities from Silavathurai in the Mannar district next month. According to Resettlement and Relief Services Minister Rishard Badhiudeen, the Ministry is making arrangements to resettle these civilians in par with the international standards. He said all civilians in 15 welfare camps in the Vavuniya district would be resettled in their original places of residence after the mine clearance process is completed. [...] The Minister said World Food Program’s Country Director appreciated the Government’s mission to ensure that IDPs are provided all basic amenities including food without any discrimination. “The WFP Country Director met me today and expressed his complete satisfaction over what the Government is doing for the welfare of civilians in the welfare camps and the people in the uncleared area,” he said.
Daily News (Sri Lanka)
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

Vietnam Willing To Help N Korea Produce Food - Official

Vietnam is willing to help North Korea produce food, Vietnam's foreign affairs ministry said Thursday as Pyongyang faces what the United Nations calls a severe food crisis. [...] Following successive poor harvests, the United Nation's World Food Programme expects up to 40% of North Korea's population - or an estimated 8.7 million people - will urgently need food aid in the coming months.
Nasdaq / AFP
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

Weak pound heaps food price inflation on poorest households

The collapse of the pound on the foreign exchanges is keeping food price inflation at painful levels, with the heaviest impact falling on poorer households and pensioners. The British Retail Consortium (BRC), which represents most major shop chains, reported yesterday a 9 per cent rise in the price of food in the shops in the year to March, against a fall in the prices of non-food items of 1.5 per cent. [...] A report prepared for the forthcoming get-together of G8 agriculture ministers in Italy – the first "food summit" of its kind – hints at the possibility of food wars in the future, or, as the report phrases it, "serious consequences not merely on business relations but equally on social and international relations, which in turn will impact directly on the security and stability of world politics". The long-term problem of meeting a doubling of food demand by 2050 from a world population of nine billion is moving up the international political agenda. Some nations, such as Korea and Taiwan, have been buying huge swaths of arable land in the developing world as a way of assuring food security. Around 73 million people now depend on the UN's World Food Programme for their sustenance.
The Independent (UK)
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

UN food director in plea to help starving millions

Just one per cent of the trillions of dollars spent on bailing out the world’s banks would save millions of lives around the world, a UN official said yesterday. Daly Belgasmi, the UN World Food Programme’s regional director for the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, called on wealthy Arab countries to help rescue the women and children who are starving as global food prices climb.
The National (UAE)
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

WFP: Zimbabwe's Food Situation Improves

The World Food program says the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe has improved because of the start of the annual harvest. [...] However, it says people who do not have dollars or other foreign money will continue to struggle to buy food. It says they also will find it difficult to have access to basic services such as health, education, water and electricity. WFP's public information officer for southern Africa, Richard Lee, says this causes concern. But, in a telephone interview from Johannesburg, Lee tells VOA, this is a good time of year for people who normally go hungry because more food is available in both the fields and in the shops. "However, we are likely to have a poor harvest this year," he said. "We still do not know exactly how poor it will be. But, it is likely to be poor. And, that means that people will start running short of food, particularly in the worst hit rural areas in the months to come. And, we will, unfortunately, need another large-scale humanitarian operation in Zimbabwe as we go through 2009 and into early 2010."
VOA News (USA)
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

Chaos onshore in Somalia is driving piracy epidemic

Warlords and militias terrorizing villages. No functioning government, courts or police. Drought and hunger afflicting half the country. That's the situation in Somalia driving the epidemic of piracy off its coast, experts say. The chaos means there are no easy military or diplomatic solutions for the U.S. and allies to prevent attacks such as the one on the Maersk Alabama on Wednesday. [...] Attempts to alleviate poverty, which could reduce the need for Somalis to turn to crime, have fallen short. The U.N. World Food Program put out a $900 million appeal for aid to Somalia this year, but only 26% has been raised, said Dawn Elizabeth Blalock, a U.N. spokeswoman.
USA Today
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

Cargo ship heads for Kenya; pirates holding captain

The U.S.-flagged cargo ship Maersk Alabama is heading to port in Mombasa, Kenya, a day after it was hijacked off Somalia's coast, the father of one of the crew members said Thursday. An 18-man armed security detail is on board to make sure the vessel and the 20 crew members get there safely, Capt. Joe Murphy said. It is about a 50-hour journey. FBI negotiators are trying to secure the release of the Maersk Alabama's captain, who is still being held by the Somali hijackers in a lifeboat. [...] The vessel was carrying relief supplies for USAID, the U.N. World Food Program and the Christian charities WorldVision and Catholic Relief Services. The U.N. agency said its portion of the cargo included nearly 4,100 metric tons of corn-soya blend bound for Somalia and Uganda, and another 990 metric tons of vegetable oil for refugees in Kenya.
CNN
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

Bangladesh: Two million children suffer from malnutrition

Two million children aged between six months and five years suffer from acute malnutrition in Bangladesh, according to a new survey. Of these, half a million suffer from severe acute malnutrition, showed a survey conducted by World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the government's Institute of Public Health Nutrition (IPHN).
Reuters AlertNet / IRIN

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