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

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
Hunger in the news
25 March 2009

Assessment finds gaps in Darfur aid delivery

The Sudanese government has not done enough to fill gaps in humanitarian assistance caused by its recent expulsion of 13 foreign aid groups from the Darfur region, the U.N. humanitarian chief said on Tuesday. (...) Holmes said that to feed the hungry in Darfur "we need to find some proper partners for the WFP (World Food Program) if the decision is not reversed." The expulsion of aid groups "seems to us a reckless act," he added
The Boston Globe / Reuters
Hunger in the news
25 March 2009

Zambia's Copperbelt Reels From Global Crisis

The global economic meltdown swept into this company town and took down the copper mine in January. It left in its wake a crisis measured in unsold tomatoes at the market, empty stomachs and desperate people lined up outside Chishimba Kambwili's pink house each morning. (...) Over the past year, malnutrition among children younger than 5 has jumped 15 to 20 percent in urban areas, including Copperbelt towns, said Pablo Recalde, country director for the World Food Program.
Washington Post
Hunger in the news
25 March 2009

Malnutrition stalks Kenyan refugee camps

Under the World Food Programme's emergency operations, 1.2 million people affected by drought and post-election violence also receive food. High food prices have taken their toll on the daily lives of Kenyans. Poverty and food insecurity are highest in urban slums and among pastoralists and farmers in remote, arid and semi-arid lands, which constitute 80 per cent of Kenya's land mass. Many households in these areas are chronically poor, and there are persistently high malnutrition rates among children under 5.
Toronto Star
Hunger in the news
25 March 2009

UN warns of humanitarian risks in Sudan

(..) The survey showed that food needs have 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. However, by the beginning of May, just as the gap between harvest times approaches, further distributions will not be made unless the WFP finds new partners, Haq said. On housing, she said that about 692,400 people are waiting for shelter materials before the rains begin, and will not receive them unless the UN Joint Logistics Centre finds partners to carry out the distribution and gains access to existing distribution lists.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
25 March 2009

One million people at risk in Darfur, U.N. says

The U.N. estimates that 1.5 million people in Darfur are dependent on healthcare support, 1.1 million need regular food aid, and another 1 million are in need of clean drinking water. The summary released Tuesday said the World Food Programme, which is still allowed to operate in Sudan, is carrying out a one-time-only distribution program in March and April, but that new partners will be needed to continue delivering food after April.
CNN

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