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
31 March 2009

100 million more children suffering due to financial crisis

Over 150 anti-poverty groups, environmentalist organisations, trade unionists, peace campaigners and faith groups, are taking part in a variety of protests to highlight the importance of the G20 acting on the fallout from the world's economic crisis. Save the Children is particularly concerned about the impact of the worst economic recession in over 70 years is having on the world’s poorest children at a time when government are focusing their attention on saving only banks and multinational conglomerates. [...] Rosie Shannon of the British charity told IRNA that the fallout on the world’s poorest children was really attributed to the rise in food prices. The World Food Programme has already warned that about 400,000 children could die because of food shortages.
IRNA
Hunger in the news
31 March 2009

Chinese navy to send new escort ships to Somali waters

A second group of Chinese navy escort ships will set sail for the Gulf of Aden Thursday to replace a flotilla sent earlier to guard against pirates. The new task force will comprise the destroyer, Shenzhen, and frigate Huangshan, as well as the supply ship, Weishanhu, which served in the first escort mission. With two helicopters and total crew exceeding 800, including navy special forces, it is mainly tasked with ensuring the safety of Chinese vessels passing through the gulf and waters off Somalia and those of international organizations like the World Food Program shipping humanitarian goods.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
31 March 2009

North Korea — Riling up the world for five decades

It's a small, isolated Asian country, yet North Korea has managed to dominate world headlines for decades. [...] The media are under direct state control, with North Koreans offered little access to outside news sources and foreign journalists rarely allowed in to the country. [...] One story the North Korean media are accused of underplaying is the food crisis that has gripped the country. The United Nations World Food Programme estimates that 8.7 million people there will be in need of food aid in 2008-2009.
CBC News
Hunger in the news
31 March 2009

Refugees Suffering in Kenyan Camps

[...] Three refugee settlements in Dadaab, in northern Kenya have witnessed an influx of new arrivals. The Hagadera, Ifo and Dagahaley camps which have a capacity of 90,000 are now holding 260,000 refugees, according to Emmanuel Nyabera, the UNHCR’s spokesperson. The agency estimates that that the camp could have up to 360,000 refugees by end of this year. New refugees are sharing cramped tents with their relatives or strangers. Some have put makeshift up shelter under trees. There are fears of humanitarian crisis if the trend continues. [...] Human Rights Watch is now calling on the Kenyan government to provide land to build a new camp to accommodate 100,000 refugees, adding its voice to UNICEF, UNHCR and World Food Programme, which last November, asked authorities to help ease the congestion.
Inter Press Service (IPS)
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

Strong growth in overseas aid flows

Overseas aid grew strongly last year but most rich countries still had a long way to go to meet pledges they made to the developing world before their economies entered recession. Figures to be released on Monday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, obtained by the Financial Times, show that aid increased by 11.9 per cent last year.
Financial Times
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

EDITORIAL: Book your flight to Pyongyang!

[...] The Hermit Kingdom, with a per capita income of $1,150, is one of the world's poorest countries, has chronic food shortages, and relies on food aid from foreign countries to feed its population. Sadly, it has just kicked out five groups distributing American food aid and announced it will reject future U.S. food assistance. In the 1990s as many as 2 million North Koreans starved to death, and there are high levels of malnutrition, while Kim has enjoyed the cognac, French wine, caviar, shark fin soup and other delicacies he is reported to ingest. The United Nations World Food Program has said that of the nation's 23 million people, about 9 million - mostly children, pregnant and nursing mothers and the elderly - will urgently need food aid in the impending "lean season" as food stocks from last year's harvest run low.
Washington Times
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

Rejoice Ngwenya: Aid Will Cripple Zimbabwe, Again!

President Robert Mugabe has appealed for international assistance to rebuild his self-battered country. Many aid activists are already salivating to this rapprochement from Africa’s most beleaguered president. The reason is simply that they never learn. However, they have a strong backing from the academic and entertainment industries.Irish rock legend Bono of U2 and his counterpart, Bob Geldorf of the seventies teen pop group Boomtown Rats are part of a clique one can safely refer to as ‘Angels of Mercy’ who habitually perceive Africa as an object of pity. [...] For us in Zimbabwe we even have firsthand experience on how free money in the hands of incorrigible rascals results in unmitigated disaster. Beleaguered Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono had for the past five years poured millions of foreign currency into what he termed ‘agricultural mechanisation programs’ for the benefit of President Robert Mugabe’s political support base. The Chinese, Libyans, Iranians and South Africans followed suit, yet the World Food Program reports that almost nine million Zimbabweans will require food aid this year.
Thisday Online (Nigeria)
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

Darfur Advocates Mobilize to Counter Bashir Snub of Hague Indictment

With moves underway at this week’s Arab League summit in Doha, Qatar to stifle the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant against Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, government officials and anti-genocide groups around the world are urging nations to abide by court’s directive and try to overturn Sudan’s expulsion of international aid organizations to avert a deeper humanitarian disaster. [...] In addition, Executive Director of Genocide Intervention Network Mark Hanis notes, the United Nations and its associate aid agencies, have been careful to steer a neutral course in their dealings with the Khartoum government.“The UN requires the consent of the host government, so in Sudan, it requires Sudan’s consent to operate inside of the country.The other agencies like UNICEF or World Food Program (WFP) aren’t invading the country of Sudan, so they need the consent to function. So that’s the limitations.As long as Sudan gives them permission, they’re able to operate.When they don’t, then they’re significantly limited in the impact they are able to have,” he noted.
VOA News (USA)
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

KC visits UN-WFP headquarters in Rome

KC Concepcion, national ambassador against hunger for United Nations-World Food Programme (UN-WFP), visited the agency’s main headquarters in Rome, Italy over the weekend to discuss the situation in the Philippines, specifically in Mindanao.
ABS-CBN News
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

UN: Many Bangladesh children malnourished

The United Nations said Sunday that Bangladesh is battling "a silent emergency" with nearly half of the impoverished country's children under age 5 suffering from chronic malnutrition. UNICEF and the U.N. World Food Program estimated in a report that 48.6 percent of the country's 20 million children aged 6 months to 5 years are chronically malnourished, a devastating problem caused by food shortages and high prices. [...] Food prices in Bangladesh have been relatively stable over the past two months, but some officials say the food crisis still poses a major threat. "Even if the prices of food are now falling, the crisis is far from being over," John Aylieff, the WFP chief in Bangladesh, told a news conference Sunday.
Associated Press (AP)

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