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
9 April 2009

Food Voucher Program in Burkina Faso Helps Stem Hunger

The World Food Program says its food voucher program in Burkina Faso has been expanded and now reaches 180,000 people in the country's two biggest cities. The WFP says the project improves peoples' access to food, while helping to boost the local economy. [..] WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella tells VOA food is usually available in urban markets. But, many poor people cannot afford to buy it. She says distributing vouchers, instead of food, can be a more effective way of alleviating hunger in urban areas without destabilizing the market. "In essence, we are supporting the market because the vouchers permit the people who receive those vouchers to go to vendors and sellers who have been approved to participate in the program and exchange the voucher for food,"Casella said.
Voice of America News
Hunger in the news
9 April 2009

Mediawatch: U.N. aid chief warns of "bloodbath" on Sri Lanka's beaches

As fresh reports come in of civilian deaths from shelling in the "no-fire zone" on Sri Lanka's northeastern coast - where the military has confined Tamil Tiger rebels - the U.N. aid chief has warned of a "bloodbath". In a commentary for Britain's Guardian newspaper, John Holmes, the U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, wrote on Wednesday that "a bloodbath on the beaches of northern Sri Lanka seems an increasingly real possibility". [...] Food from the U.N. World Food Programme has been delivered by ship to the no-fire zone with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), but the United Nations says this is only around a quarter of what is needed.
Reuters Alertnet
Hunger in the news
8 April 2009

Aid expulsion heavy blow to Darfur women

With her health options limited, one woman in this Darfur refugee camp is considering a risky alternative: a traditional healer who promises his potion of holy water, charcoal and glue, touched by verses of the Quran, can cure her uterus inflammation. It's not a choice 22-year-old Mastoura Hussein would have considered before the Sudanese government threw out some of the biggest aid groups working in war-torn Darfur. The order forced the departure of the doctors she had been seeing at a specialized women's health clinic. The expulsion has raised fears of a humanitarian crisis across Darfur, where several million rely on agencies for food, health care and shelter.
Washington Post / AP
Hunger in the news
8 April 2009

Photo Caption on MBC donation to WFP

The Marriott Business Council in Dubai has raised AED84,788 (US$23,089) for the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and UAE Red Crescent, through its ‘Marriott Spirit To Serve The Hungry’ campaign. [...] Picture shows (from left): [...] Finbarr Curran, UAE Country Director of UN WFP.
Travel Daily Asia
Hunger in the news
8 April 2009

Managing Disaster in Nigeria

[...] The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was established via Act 12 as amended by Act 50 of 1999, to manage natural and man-disasters in Nigeria. [...] As the representative of Nigeria’s government in distribution of relief materials to other needy nations, NEMA's successes [...] have earned it the respect of some foreign institutions and bodies who partner with it mostly on capacity building. Recently the United Nation’s humanitarian agency, World Food Programme (WFP), visited the agency and commended its initiatives and programmes in addressing disaster related problems. WFP used the opportunity to seek a partnership with NEMA towards addressing food security in the West African region.
Daily Sun (Nigeria)
8 April 2009

Food Crisis Not Over, U.S. Aid Is Key: WFP Official

Moves by the United States to provide more cash instead of commodities to fight a growing world food crisis are welcomed, but more is needed, a U.N. World Food Program (WFP) official said on Tuesday. "Just because food prices have come down doesn't mean the crisis is over," said Allan Jury, WFP director of U.S. relations. [...] A new four-year, $60-million pilot program for just such local and regional purchases is getting under way with funding from the 2008 Farm Bill. And the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is spending about $145 million for local procurement projects to bring aid to people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Nepal and elsewhere, said Dirk Dijkerman, an assistant administrator with USAID. The moves are "a start in the right direction," but more is needed, Jury said. "Most of the donors give us cash. The U.S. is one of the last that gives us any kind of commodities. We would very much welcome if the U.S. was able to join the flexibility of other donors," he said.
New York Times / Reuters
8 April 2009

Ban Ki-moon: "In bad times things fall apart fast"

Today's G20 meeting can make the difference between human hope and despair, between economic recovery and a plunge into deepening recession. We have seen the frightening velocity of change. What began as a financial crisis has become a global economic crisis. I fear worse to come: a full-blown political crisis defined by growing social unrest, weakened governments and angry publics who have lost all faith in their leaders and their own future. We must stop the slide. The recession hurts everyone, but those hurt worst are the poor - people with no homes or savings to lose, who in some countries spend as much as 80% of their income on food, and often lack the basics of healthcare, water and sanitation. They are the majority of the world's people - and they have no safety net.
The Guardian
7 April 2009

2008 was deadliest year for aid workers - study

Soaring violence in Somalia and Afghanistan helped make 2008 the most dangerous year on record for aid workers, with 122 killed while carrying out their work, a report showed on Monday. Aid work is now more risky than U.N. peacekeeping as attacks become increasingly politically motivated in some countries, researchers said. Last year marked a surge in violence against international relief workers and local U.N. contractors such as the truck drivers who deliver food aid in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region. There has also been a dramatic increase in kidnappings over the past three years.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
7 April 2009

FARMINGTON Lesson for today: helping others

Kindness, unselfishness and compassion are powerful values. At Mount Blue Middle School in Farmington [Maine, USA], all 96 students in the seventh grade are learning firsthand about lending a hand to those less fortunate. [...] Claire Donaghue has been playing the latest, online vocabulary challenge at www.freerice.com where top scorers "win" rice donated by sponsors for the United Nations World Food Program. Since 2007, FreeRice has generated enough rice to feed millions of people in developing countries. Claire said an all-night "FreeRice-a-thon" will be held in the coming weeks.
Morning Sentinel
Hunger in the news
7 April 2009

Orissa tribals get trampled under apathy & negligence

It was a dew-drenched December morning. The winter was at its peak. The picturesque Rayagada town on the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa was wearing a beautiful bridal look. Alluring greenery on the hills nearby, hordes of buffaloes and sheep feasting on the long-grown grass presented a picture perfect for a nature artist to capture it on the canvas. All this had no meaning for Sukru Himrika. He had no longer any hope to live in this pretty place where he was born 23 years ago. He decided to leave his home to feed his family. [...] According to Food Security Atlas published by the UN World Food Programme, the regional patterns of development in Orissa reveals that development has not spread and there have been pockets of underdevelopment. [...] Low levels of land development in the KBK region have resulted in poor performance on the agricultural front. There is very small area that can be cultivated twice in an agricultural year. This has resulted in a very low cropping intensity.
The Asian Age

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