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
2 April 2009

Fierce clashes rage in Sri Lanka

There have been intense clashes between Sri Lankan security forces and Tamil Tigers in the country's north-east. The Sri Lankan defence ministry says troops have encircled scores of Tamil Tigers in a small stretch of land in Mullaitivu district. [...] Meanwhile, the World Food Programme says it has sent more than 1,000 tonnes of food to trapped civilians. [...] The World Food Programme says its food consignment on a government chartered ship comes amid increasing concern for civilians. "The government's timely provision of a large capacity vessel enabled WFP and other partners to ship this urgently needed assistance," said Adnan Khan, WFP country director for Sri Lanka. It is estimated that between 40,000 and 150,000 civilians are trapped in the conflict zone in the north-east.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
2 April 2009

UK to provide £172M for development works

The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) announced Thursday an assistance of 172 million pound sterling (NRs. 19.78 billion) to Nepal for the next three years - 2009 to 2012. The pledge for support was made by visiting UK Minister for International Development Mike Foster launching a three-year plan of UK’s Department of International Department (DFID) in Nepal. [...] With the new DFID country plan in Nepal that amounts to nearly Rs. 20 billion, the UK has increased its aid to Nepal by 46 per cent compared to the previous three-year plan. In addition to this, the UK has pledged to provide a sum of 4 million pound sterling to fund the World Food Programme projects in the country.
The Rising Nepal
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

Seychelles cancels hotel over food security fears

The Seychelles has cancelled a large new hotel development that was to be have been built on prime agricultural land, following strong objections from local residents worried about food security. The archipelago country, which is heavily dependent on imported food, has been hit badly by the global financial crisis, with the government forced to seek emergency funding for the IMF. Critics accuse the authorities of ignoring food concerns by offering arable land to foreign investors looking to build luxury resorts.
The Guardian
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

Obama Urges Sudan to Allow Aid Groups Back

President Obama on Monday repeated his request for Sudan to let more than a dozen expelled humanitarian aid groups back into the country and suggested that if it did not, he would “find some mechanism” to get food, water and medicine to the people of Darfur. Mr. Obama did not specify what that mechanism might be, but aides later said he meant increasing help to aid groups remaining in Sudan.
New York Times
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

United Nations World Food Programme opens new office for southern province of Laos

The United Nations World Food Programme (WPF) opened on 25 March a new office in Saravane province for southern provinces of Laos. Among the guest at the opening ceremony were Mr. Khamboun Douangpanya, Governor of Saravane province, Mrs. Kharin Manente, Director of the WPF in Vientiane and high ranking officials concern from all departments in the province.
Lao News Agency (KPL)
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

Food security scheme for bamboo cutters sought

Orissa Forest Mazdoor Union (OFMU) on Monday urged the [Indian] Government to introduce a food security scheme on the line of World Food Programme for bamboo cutters, who were leading a pathetic life. Submitting a memorandum to Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, OFMU general secretary Dandapani Mohanty said there were about one lakh bamboo cutters, who were mostly landless and were languishing in poverty in the State. The WFP came to their rescue supplying food commodity to this forest dependent community through government agencies like Forest Department and every year nearly 10000 metric tonne of rice, pulses and edible oiled were being supplied to these poor families for last 20 years.
The Hindu
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

Indian food policy failing, millions hungry: UN

A flagship government food subsidy scheme is failing and millions in India remain hungry despite years of economic boom, a UN report showed. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), meant to sell food essentials to India's poorest people at subsidized prices, has excluded large numbers because of poor data and lack of adequate definitions of hunger, the report said. About 20 per cent of the world's 1 billion hungry poor live in India. [...] "Apart from failing to serve the intended goal of reduction of food subsidies, the TPDS also led to greater food insecurity for large sections of the poor and the near-poor," the report, written by the UN World Food Programme and a think-tank, said.
World Trade Review (Pakistan)
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

G20 must not forget the poorest

This week’s Group of 20 meeting already has a packed agenda: maintaining demand, repairing the global financial system and increasing the International Monetary Fund’s resources. But the G20 must raise its sights; the effects of this worldwide recession extend far beyond the 20 states meeting in London. As Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, argued on Tuesday, the developing world needs more support. [...] Beyond measures for financial and economic stability, the G20 must also consider humanitarian support. Last year, the World Food Programme assisted 100m people around the world. This year, food prices are still high while incomes and trade flows have wilted. More people are expected to need the WFP’s help this year. It, however, remains short of funds. The world should not forgive politicians who, at a moment of crisis, find time to discuss tax havens and hedge funds, but stay silent on how they can help the poorest.
Financial Times
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

Global financial crisis hits world's poorest hardest

People living in the world's poorest communities are eating less frequently and consuming worse food as a result of the global financial crisis, according to a study of the impact of the recession in five developing nations published today. Many poor families hit by the economic downturn are also removing their children from school, research by the Institute of Development Studies showed, and in a number of countries children are being pushed into work early as a consequence of the international crisis. Research conducted in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Jamaica and Zambia attempted to provide a rapid overview of the consequences of the recession in some of the world's most deprived communities.
The Guardian
Hunger in the news
1 April 2009

A lifeline for Haitians devastated by hurricanes

Micheline Anosier is feeding porridge to her 18-month-old daughter, Merline. Quite a lot of the gruel has ended up on Merline's face but, judging by her expression, she's enjoying the meal. Around them in the Cantine Populaire a Jubile, other mothers and children are grouped, chatting and eating in the heat of the early afternoon. "I don't know what I'd do without this place," says Micheline. [...] This cantine is one of 21 supplementary feeding centres which opened at the end of last year as a joint programme by the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Action Contre la Faim (ACF) and Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team (AMURT). The ingredients of the porridge – corn soya blend (CSB), sugar, oil and milk – are provided by WFP.
Toronto Star Online

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