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
7 April 2009

Sri Lanka: Growing concern over civilians trapped in conflict zone

Tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside rapidly shrinking areas of combat between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in northern Sri Lanka are a major concern for the UN, a visiting top official said. “The conflict is still going on, large numbers of people are being trapped in the Vanni [combat zone],” Walter Kaelin, the Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), told reporters in the northern town of Vavuniya on 4 April. [...] On 3 April, World Food Programme (WFP) dispatched 1,000MT of food into the combat zone, the single largest shipment since the sea convoys began. WFP stated in a press release that since February 2009, more than 2,200MT of supplies - sufficient to feed 132,000 people for 20 days - had been sent to the combat zone with the assistance of the government in ships flying the ICRC flag.
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
7 April 2009

Village Voices - When the LRA came to Katine

My parents are peasants. They have seven children and work hard to produce enough food for the family, while the surplus is sold to get some income to afford other basic needs, such as clothes, scholastic materials and paying school fees. [...] However, in June 2003, while in my second year, the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), led by the Joseph Kony, struck. They came right from northern Uganda to the east, killing and committing atrocities. Schools, including mine, had to close. [...] I stayed at an IDP camp for six month without studying. We used to survive on food relief distributed by the government and non-governmental organisations, like the World Food Programme and the Food and Agricultural Organisation.
The Guardian
Hunger in the news
7 April 2009

Zimbabwe's Maize Crop Closely Watched in Hopes of End to Hunger Season

Agriculture experts at the Netherlands-based Early Agglomeration Recognition System said Zimbabwe's 2009 maize crop will come in 4% short of last year due to uneven rainfall, but a Zimbabwean agronomist said the harvest now beginning could surprise on the upside. [...] National Director Forbes Matonga of Christian Care, a partner of the United Nations World Food Program, said that with the arrival of the harvest his organization has suspended aid to the general population while it assesses crops and general food availability.
Voice of America News
Hunger in the news
6 April 2009

Somalia: Aid agencies ordered to register

Somalia's prime minister has ordered all aid agencies working in the lawless Horn of Africa nation to register with the new government for their own safety. The country is suffering one of the world's worst humanitarian catastrophes. A two-year Islamist rebellion has killed more than 16,000 civilians, driven another 1 million from their homes and left about 3 million dependent on food aid. Complicating operations for aid workers, large parts of south and central Somalia are under the control of hardline al Shabaab insurgents and allied Islamist fighters.
Washington Post / Reuters
6 April 2009

Food aid network gathers to meet global challenge

More than 700 people are meeting here in Kansas City this week for the International Food Aid Conference. What brings us all together is a shared commitment to eliminating hunger and making sure food gets into the hands of those who need it most. The work of those at the conference is noble and their challenges severe as the global economic crisis pushes more and more people to seek food aid.
Kansas City Star
Hunger in the news
6 April 2009

Palestine to benefit from UN World Food Programme

United Nations has announced a year long food voucher scheme for around 30,000 Palestinians through their World Food Programme (WFP). Under the programme, developed together with the Palestinian Authority, families will receive eight vouchers per month, with a monthly value of $50, which they can use to buy items such as bread, eggs and milk. WFP Country Director in the occupied Palestinian territories Christine van Nieuwenhuyse said "The recent fall in global food prices has not yet translated into lower prices in local markets". "Palestinian families are now spending about 60 per cent of their income on food," she stated, adding that the new project would improve people's access to food, while also providing a financial stimulus to the local economy.
Commodity Online
Hunger in the news
6 April 2009

Drought pushes 2m towards hunger: WFP

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) Sunday said that the winter drought [in Nepal], which will cause crop losses between 30 to 70 percent will push 2 million people towards hunger. "This worrying outlook for the crop situation in the Hill and Mountain zones will have the most serious implication on household with low food stock," said WFP in its emergency alert bulletin.
eKantipur
Hunger in the news
6 April 2009

Celebrities snap their morning moments

[...] Jamelia, 28, singer and United Nations activist, lives with her husband, footballer Darren Byfield, and daughters Teja, eight, and Tiani, three, in Birmingham: "This morning wasn’t usual at all – I’m in Nairobi, Kenya, working on a campaign with the United Nations World Food Programme. I arrived early at a school in the Kibera slums, where we are launching the Really Good School Dinner Campaign. It’s a programme for which British children donate 10p from their lunch money to give children here a proper meal at school. I was overwhelmed by how happy the children were in spite of their situation."
Daily Mail (UK)
Hunger in the news
6 April 2009

Two foreign aid workers kidnapped in Darfur

Picture: AFP Displaced Sudanese people queuing up to receive aid during a distribution by WFP at the Kasab camp near Kutum in northern Darfur] Two foreign workers for Aide Medicale Internationale were kidnapped at gunpoint in Sudan's Darfur region overnight, the French medical aid group said on Sunday. The second kidnapping of Western humanitarian workers in Darfur in less than a month has raised fears for the safety of foreigners in Sudan's violent west.
Welt Online
Hunger in the news
6 April 2009

US donates rice for cyclone-struck Myanmar delta

The United States donated 16,000 tons of rice to cyclone victims in Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta where a humanitarian crisis persists nearly a year after the disaster, the U.S. Embassy in Yangon said Friday. [...] The donation "illustrates how U.S. assistance can help respond to the humanitarian crisis which is far from over for many people in the hardest hit areas of the Irrawaddy Delta," Larry Dinger, U.S. charge d'affaires in Yangon, said in a statement. Dinger traveled to the delta with the U.N.'s World Food Program on Wednesday. [...] WFP spokesman Paul Risley said the U.S. donation was crucial because the region's rice farmers were still struggling to replant their flooded fields. About 2 million acres (800,000 hectares) of rice paddy were submerged by massive waves and 85 percent of seed stocks was destroyed.
Forbes / AP

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