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
30 March 2009

Corn Plummets 31% as Soybeans Fall 28% in Forecast

U.S. farmers are preparing to plant record amounts of soybeans and demand for corn is falling, driving prices to the lowest levels in more than two years. [...] Crop prices are among the biggest losers this year on the Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index of 19 commodities. While gasoline rallied 48 percent and copper 32 percent through March 27, wheat plunged 17 percent to $5.0725 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn dropped 4.9 percent to $3.87, and soybeans slipped 6.4 percent to $9.17. All three are down at least 40 percent from records last year, when consumers and exporting countries hoarded supplies and the United Nations’ World Food Programme said higher prices meant a $755 million increase in the cost of feeding the world’s hungry.
Bloomberg
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

Guatemala to receive 15 million Euros for Agriculture from European Commission

Guatemala is part of the 314 million euro aid package to support agricultural and food security projects adopted today by the European Commission. Guatemala will receive 15 million Euros for Agriculture. The projects will operate in 3 year cycles. The aid package is for the 23 countries worst hit by the economic crisis in the world. [...] All funding of the projects adopted today will be channelled through International Organisations: the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and specialised UN agencies like UNOPS (in Myanmar/Burma) and UNRWA (in Palestine).
The Guatemala Times
Hunger in the news
30 March 2009

Kenya: New centre brings HIV services to truckers

"Every trucker should know how to change a tyre and put on a condom," said Anisa Abdalla, a doctor in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, at the opening of a new "roadside wellness centre" offering HIV services to truck drivers and other transport workers. The centre – opened on Thursday by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in conjunction with the Kenyan Ministry of Health, UNAIDS and the Kenya Ports Authority – aims to curb the spread of HIV among truckers travelling the “northern corridor”, which stretches from Mombasa to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Plus News / IRIN
Hunger in the news
29 March 2009

KC: World has heart for hungry in Africa

KC CONCEPCION, the eldest daughter of singer-actress Sharon Cuneta, flew to the headquarters of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Rome last week to plead for more funds—at least $7 million (P340 million)—to help feed poor children in Mindanao. A rising star herself, KC (short for Kristina Cassandra) spoke to some 100 officials and staff members of the WFP as the national ambassador for hunger, a title she shares with actors Sean Penn and Drew Barrymore of Hollywood, soccer superstar Kaka of Brazil, and actor-musician Jang Dong-gun of South Korea. [...] KC was later brought to WFP executive director Josette Sheeran for a private meeting. [...] “Today has been an enormous experience for me. Of course, meeting with Madame Sheeran was a great honor. She listened as I updated her on certain issues concerning our program in Mindanao. To realize that she was aware of who I was, and also recognized my efforts truly surprised and humbled me,” she told the Inquirer.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Hunger in the news
29 March 2009

Somalia's hard-line Islamists invite aid groups

Somalia's hard-line Islamists on Sunday invited international aid groups to regions under their control to assist thousands of hunger-stricken people. "We are openly calling aid agencies to operate freely in the region in order to help thousands of people in the drought-hit areas of the country," al-Shabab Islamic movement commander Sheikh Mukhtar Robow Abuu-Mansoor told reporters. "We appreciate how they have assisted the people in the past and wish they continue doing the same," he added. [...] The World Food Program has offices in Wajid, a major food distribution center for the region. [..] Kidnappings of foreign aid workers and journalists by ransom-seeking armed groups are frequent in conflict-wracked Somalia. U.N. agencies attempting to deliver food aid have been repeatedly targeted. and four WFP employees have been killed since August last year.
Alarabiya /AFP
Hunger in the news
29 March 2009

Uganda: Sh1 Billion to Boost Food Security

France last week signed a sh1.3b agreement to boost development in Karamoja and parts of Kampala.The grant will benefit seven projects, with one in Nakapiripirit district and six in Kampala. [...] The World Food Programme recently warned that food insecurity in drought-prone Karamoja would worsen in 2009, due to poor harvests last September.
All Africa / New Vision
Hunger in the news
28 March 2009

Why US went for private firms in maize deals

The US Government opted to let commercial entities deal with American maize exports after the National Cereals and Produce Board proved too costly for the job, Ambassador Michael Ranneberger said. [...] Beyond commercial deals, the US says it has been the largest donor of food and other emergency aid to Kenya in the recent past. Most of its intervention here as elsewhere has been through the World Food Programme, which the diplomat termed the largest and most efficient organisation in food distribution.
Daily Nation (Kenya)
Hunger in the news
27 March 2009

Philippines: Insecurity jeopardises aid work

A hostage crisis involving three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers may force agencies to stop bringing assistance to some areas, officials told IRIN, as humanitarian workers feel increasingly under threat in the hostile south. Stephen Anderson, the World Food Programme (WFP) country representative, said additional protection measures for his 60 local and foreign staff were paramount as the situation in Mindanao had become "dramatically more insecure". "We can still manage the risk, though we have taken a number of measures in terms of security," Anderson told IRIN. "It [the kidnapping] affects us because we are concerned about the welfare of colleagues who do the same type of work."
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
27 March 2009

Sri Lankan Forces do not target civilians in 'no fire zone' clarifies Sri Lankan Foreign Minister

In a telephone conversation, Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama has categorically stated that the Sri Lankan security forces do not direct any attacks on the Government declared no-fire zone along the Mullaitivu coast, notwithstanding the constant artillery barrage launched at the military by the LTTE. [...] Responding to a query by the Danish Foreign Minister with regard to the involvement of the UN and ICRC, Minister Bogollagama explained that the welfare transit villages were being assisted by the UN while the ICRC has been involved with the evacuation of civilians by sea. In addition, he referred to the involvement of the WFP and the ICRC in the transport of food and medical supplies by sea and their distribution to the civilians in the conflict area.
Asian Tribune
Hunger in the news
27 March 2009

UN concern over safety of civilians in Sri Lanka

The United Nations has expressed concerns over the safety of civilians, numbering as high as 190,000, trapped by fighting in northern Sri Lanka between the army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). [...] Those uprooted by the fighting and are trapped in the no-fire zone have limited access to food, safe water, sanitation facilities and medical assistance, with the International Red Cross delivering a two-week supply of medicines aboard a ship to the zone and the World Food Programme (WFP) preparing to send 1,000 tons of food to the area.
Web India 123 / UNI

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