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

US wants Myanmar out of isolation

The United States wants to forge a common strategy with Asia to coax military-run Myanmar out of isolation, a senior official said yesterday, suggesting six-way talks with North Korea could be a model. President Barack Obama’s administration has launched a review of policy on Myanmar, also known as Burma, where a US official last week paid the first visit by a senior envoy in more than seven years. [...] Meanwhile, the US government donated 16,000 tons of rice to typhoon-ravaged Irrawaddy delta yesterday, prompting the normally hostile state-run media to the cover the news, an official of the US Embassy in Yangon confirmed. “There were five journalists from Ministry of Information who joined our trip for the first time,” the official said. The trip was led Larry Dinger, the deputy chief of mission, and included officials from the World Food Programme. The donated rice was imported from the US, sources said.
The Peninsula / AFP
Hunger in the news
2 April 2009

U.S. donates rice for Myanmar cyclone survivors

The United States has donated more than 16,000 tons of rice to help survivors of last year's devastating cyclone in military-ruled Myanmar, officials said. The rice is part of a $28 million American food aid package distributed through the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) to survivors of Cyclone Nargis, which left 140,000 people dead or missing and 2.4 million people severely affected last May. "The United States government is the WFP's single largest donor for the cyclone victims," said Chris Kaye, the U.N. agency's country director, speaking to Reuters on Wednesday at a WFP distribution camp near Labutta in the hardest-hit Irrawaddy Delta. [...] The Obama administration announced in February that it was conducting a review of its policy toward Myanmar to find new ways to sway one of the world's most reclusive regimes.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
2 April 2009

WFP in campaign to sensitise truckers on HIV

As HIV/Aids scourge takes a huge toll on long distance truck drivers, Mombasa port stakeholders have united to educate hundreds of its crew along the Northern Corridor. World Food Programme (WFP) has joined in the fight against HIV among truck crew plying between Mombasa port and Uganda. WFP Kenya Country Director Burkard Oberle said the United Nations had established that long distance drivers and loaders were among the most vulnerable groups. Mr Oberle spoke during the opening of the Wellness Centre at Gate 18 in Mombasa port, recently. The clinic is dedicated to the fight against HIV among the drivers and other port workers.
The Standard
Hunger in the news
2 April 2009

'Corrupt deals to be cancelled'

Kenya intends to stop payments on corrupt deals including a fertilizer factory that was never built, the prime minister said on Wednesday, in a move that activists say could save the country more than $100m a year [- exactly the amount Kenya has appealed for from the International Monetary Fund] to help cushion its currency against the worldwide economic crisis. The country also has launched additional appeals for aid to help feed the more than 10 million Kenyans it says are at risk of hunger. The World Food Program puts the figure at 3.2 million.
News 24 / Associated Press
Hunger in the news
2 April 2009

34 rebels killed in fighting, Sri Lankan military claims

Sri Lankan troops killed 34 members of the separatist rebel group the Tamil Tigers Thursday during fierce fighting in the island's north in a drive to end a 25-year-old civil war, the military said. Troops collected the bodies of 31 rebels after intense clashes near Puthukkudiyiruppu, the last township held by the Tamil Tigers inside a tiny, shrinking territory, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said in Colombo. [...] Tens of thousands of civilians are trapped in the war zone. The military says the rebels are using them as human shields in a desperate attempt to avoid defeat. But the Tigers say the people do not want to leave and have asked for their protection. [...] The United States has donated $15,000 worth of food aid to Sri Lanka, sufficient to feed 300,000 displaced people for four months, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo said in a statement. The aid represents 21 per cent of the total food aid called for this year by the World Food Program, the statement quoted USAID Mission Director Rebecca Cohn as saying.
CBC News
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)

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