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
23 March 2009

N.Korea: US Journalists Illegally Crossed Border

North Korea detained two Americans for illegally crossing its border and is investigating them, the communist country's official news agency said Saturday. (...) The North also is locked in a standoff with regional powers over its nuclear program, and earlier this week expelled five U.S. groups that distribute much-needed food aid in a country where the World Food Program says millions are going hungry. It has also repeatedly shut its southern border in recent days to protest joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.
Fox News
Hunger in the news
23 March 2009

Camp in Darfur refuses humanitarian aid

Leaders at Kalma displacement camp in southern Darfur refuse aid from both international and government agencies, demanding that Sudan first allow 13 expelled foreign aid groups back. (...) The self-imposed aid embargo at Kalma camp, which includes the monthly food distribution, is heightening concerns about the welfare of the 88,000 residents. The World Food Program said Kalma leaders Thursday refused a grain delivery. The U.N. food agency faced similar resistance a week earlier.
Los Angeles Times
Hunger in the news
23 March 2009

Expulsion of Aid Groups Raises Risks in Darfur

The expulsion of organizations that provided clean water, medical treatment, food and shelter for millions of Sudanese in the war-racked region of Darfur has thrown the world’s largest aid operation into disarray, putting the lives of millions of displaced people at risk. The Sudanese government has pledged that local aid groups and government agencies will fill the gap, and that assistance from the World Food Program and other United Nations agencies still operating in Darfur will help avert an immediate crisis of widespread water and food shortages.
New York Times
Hunger in the news
20 March 2009

A dramatic change, then new challenge for Madagascar

Weeks of opposition protests and turmoil on the Indian Ocean island have killed more than 135 people, crippled tourism and left former President Marc Ravalomanana in the lurch. Using agency reports, Ben Ukwuoma writes on the dramatic victory for the young politician, Andry Rajoelina who was sacked as mayor of the capital only last month. (...) The crisis hit the cities hardest. "Loss of employment due to the political crisis threatens to push the vulnerable poor and lower-middle classes into destitution. For those who are already indigent, estimated at over 500,000 the current crisis has put even the most basic foodstuffs beyond their reach," Krystyna Bednarska, head of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), said.
The Guardian (South Africa)
Hunger in the news
20 March 2009

150 Million to Help Displaced Iraqis

This year’s funding has supported the 2009 United Nations Consolidated Appeal for Iraq and the region, and key international non-governmental organizations. The Appeal for $547 million will support relief efforts by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Food Program (WFP) and others. The United States calls on other donors to respond to the United Nations Appeal with substantial contributions of their own.
Scoop Independent News
Hunger in the news
19 March 2009

US releases $2.2m to Zimbabwe’s health sector

This recent contribution brings the total US humanitarian assistance to Zimbabwe ’s food and health crisis to over US$260 million since October 2007. The US is the leading food donor, providing nearly 70 percent of all international food aid distributed in Zimbabwe through NGOs and the UN World Food Programme this year. In addition, the US will contribute over US$30 million this year for HIV and Aids programmes, in addition to paying for 33 percent of the Global Fund’s multilateral programmes
The Zimbabwean
Hunger in the news
19 March 2009

UN chief says defeating piracy requires restoration of law in Somalia

Despite the launch of "one of the largest anti-piracy flotillas in modern history," the clan-organized taking of vessels off the coast of Somalia will only cease when order is restored to the Horn of Africa nation, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says in a report released here on Wednesday. (...) Of great concern to the United Nations, Ban said, is the safety of vessels carrying food and other aid on which some 2.4 million Somalis depend, 95 percent of which arrives by sea and which was threatened by the 2007 attack on a ship contracted by the World Food Program (WFP).
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
19 March 2009

UN: About 14,000 new Somali refugees entered Kenya in January

The United Nations agencies said more than 14,000 new Somali refugees have been registered in Kenya in January, adding to a refugee population which already far exceeds the capacity of existing camps and support mechanisms. "New arrivals are expected to continue during the course of the year. Therefore, there is an immediate need to decongest existing camps and accommodate arrivals in new camps with adequate infrastructure," said OCHA, citing figures from the UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF.
People's Daily / Xinhua
Hunger in the news
19 March 2009

Golden days

Despite all the promises of development, and the promotion of other crops such as tea, asparagus and rubber, switching out of poppies had left most farmers in Myanmar and Laos worse off, even before the current global downturn. UNODC and the Laotian government had to appeal to the World Food Programme (WFP) for emergency food aid. More than half the 2,058 villages in the provinces of Phongsaly, Houaphan and Xieng Khouang, most of which had been put under pressure to abandon opium, were short of food. A former WFP representative in Vientiane, Christa Rader, concludes that massive development programmes will be needed to help former opium-growers find other ways of making ends meet.
The Economist
Hunger in the news
19 March 2009

North Korea: A glimpse inside a secret state

Two US journalists were detained by the North Koreans on Tuesday while reporting from the China-North Korea border. The BBC's Michael Bristow was also on the border on Tuesday. Here he reports on what he found. (...) The World Food Programme says that nearly nine million North Koreans will need foreign food aid this year. This rural face is one that North Korea's current leader, Kim Jong-il, does not want the outside world to see.
BBC News

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