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
26 March 2009

Sudan's Beshir defies warrant in Egypt

The United Nations warned on Tuesday that it would appeal to international donors for extra funds following the expulsion of 3,142 aid agency staff. UN humanitarian affairs coordinator Ameerah Haq predicted the situation in Darfur would deteriorate further over the coming weeks. "By the beginning of May, as the hunger gap approaches, and unless the World Food Program has found partners able to take on the mammoth distribution task, these people will not receive their rations," she said.
Sydney Morning Herald
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

UN official calls Darfur aid tenuous

A combination of stopgap measures by United Nations agencies and the Sudanese government has kept aid flowing in the world's largest relief program in Darfur, but the makeshift effort cannot be sustained, John Holmes, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator, said Tuesday. (...) The World Food Program, a United Nations agency that will remain in Sudan, used to deliver food through many of the agencies that were shut down. The program delivered food for March and April to 1.1 million people by using local committees, but another method will have to be found, Mr. Holmes said.
International Herald Tribune
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

Sudan cattle clashes 'kill 750'

About 750 people have died this month in clashes in South Sudan over cattle-rustling, the United Nations says. (...) "We're seeing reports of perhaps up to 750 dead, that seem to have been generated by cattle rustling," Geoff Wordley, assistant representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in South Sudan, told the BBC. "The situation now appears to have calmed but during the disturbances at least one World Food Programme convoy was attacked and looted."
BBC News
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

Joint UN, Sudan assessment of Darfur aid reveals critical gaps

United Nations humanitarian officials have commended the cooperation of Sudanese Government staff on an assessment of relief needs in war-torn Darfur, while they warned of high risks ahead following the ouster of crucial aid groups. [...] A statement from the UN office in Accra said for the long-term, [a] survey, conducted between 11 and 19 March discovered gaps in food aid; health and nutrition; non-food items and shelter; and water, sanitation and hygiene upon which some 4.7 million Darfur residents depended for survival. [...] The survey showed that food needs had been covered for March and April for about 1.1 million people, thanks to a one-time distribution by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) through local food committees.
Modern Ghana / GNA
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

NATO Resuming Anti-Piracy Mission

NATO's anti-piracy flotilla will resume patrols off the Horn of Africa soon, joining an international squadron already operating in the region, the alliance said Thursday. A NATO statement said the five ships will reach the pirate-infested waters off the Somali coastline within days. They will do a stint with the anti-piracy patrols there before sailing on for a tour of Southeast Asia. [...] Pirate attacks in the busy sea lanes off the Somali coastline hit unprecedented levels in 2008, and NATO responded to appeals by the United Nations by deploying a three-warship flotilla to escort World Food Program cargo vessels carrying desperately needed food aid to Somalia.
New York Times / AP
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

Somali pirates hijack 2 tankers in 24 hours

Pirates armed with machine guns pursued and captured a Norwegian chemical tanker off the coast of Somalia on Thursday, the owners said, less than 24 hours after a smaller Greek-owned vessel was seized in the same area. The U.S. 5th Fleet, which patrols the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, confirmed both hijackings and said they happened in the same area but separate from the gulf, one of the world's busiest — and now most treacherous — sea lanes. [...] An earlier NATO mission — sent to the region in October in response to appeals by the United Nations — was replaced in December by an EU flotilla. Its main task is to escort cargo ships chartered by the U.N. World Food Program carrying humanitarian aid to Somalia, which has been without a functioning government since 1991.
USA Today / AP
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

Somali refugees in Kenya face humanitarian emergency

Hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees holed up in northern Kenya face a "humanitarian emergency" this year as disease starts spreading through overcrowded camps, Oxfam warned on Friday. [...] Aid workers say the humanitarian situation in Somalia is the worst in the world. Fighting has killed more than 17,000 civilians since the start of 2007, one million more have been driven from their homes and about a third of the population -- more than 3 million people -- need emergency food aid.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

Somalia: Thousands Need Aid to Return Home From Somaliland

At least 15,000 Somalis, who had fled to the self-declared republic of Somaliland to escape violence in Mogadishu, want to return home following the recent change of government but lack the means to do so, aid workers said. [...] "The families want to return due to the difficult conditions they live in here," Zainab Mohamud, head of the Gashan Women's Development Organisation, who works with the displaced families, told IRIN on 25 March. [...] She said the families had received some food aid from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) but little else.
All Africa / IRIN
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

Starving Ngorongoro sends out food SOS

More than 34,000 households in drought-stricken Ngorongoro District in Arusha Region [of Tanzania] are facing a critical shortage of food and need an emergency supply of at least 9,000 tonnes of cereals. ``We need immediate relief supplies of food for the starving members of the households affected by persistent droughts,`` Ngorongoro District Commissioner Jowika Kasunga told The Guardian here yesterday. [...] Mbulu legislator Philip Marmo, Minister of State in the Prime Minister`s Office (Policy, Coordination and Parliamentary Affairs), stated when reached for comment yesterday that there would be no specific modalities of dispatching emergency food aid to Ngorongoro. [...] ``People should continue observing the procedure we have been using all this long of coordination by the PMO’s disaster management department, the Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives ministry and the World Food Programme,`` he added.
IPP Media (Tanzania)
Hunger in the news
26 March 2009

West Africa: Parliamentarians Take On Climate Change

Some of the 50 parliamentarians from across West Africa attending a conference on climate change, and food and water security held in Dakar on 25 and 26 March, looked uncomfortable when presented with a picture of a banana with a watermelon-coloured peel and an elephant with a cabbage head. "This is what you think genetically modified organisms (GMO) look like, right?" asked the plant breeding expert, Marcel Galiba. "I want you to reconsider," he challenged the lawmakers. [...] The lawmakers- mostly from Senegal, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire and Benin, and a small number from Europe - listened to presentations from the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Senegal's Ministry of Agriculture on its recent reforms, and non-profits Global Water Partnership and Wateraid West Africa.
All Africa / IRIN

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