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
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
Hunger in the news
19 March 2009

UN report says Kenyan drought to last into 2010

Kenya's drought and food shortages are expected to last until March 2010, seven months longer than previously projected, said a joint Kenya-United Nations report posted online Thursday. (...) As a result of the new assessment, the U.N. food agency is increasing its food aid program in Kenya, said Peter Smerdon, a World Food Program spokesman.
International Herald Tribune / AP
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

Interview with Malcolm Duthie, Country Director for the World Food Programme in The Gambia

[...] The World Food Programme is helping The Gambia fight hunger with programs like Food for Education. This program, which provides school meals, is one WFP seeks to expand. Malcolm Duthie, WFP director in The Gambia, tells us how critical school feeding is for the country.
BlogCritics Magazine
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

Interview with Karin Manente of the World Food Programme in Laos

The Lao People's Democratic Republic is classified as a Least Developed Country (LDC) and Low Income Food Deficit Country (LIFDC). The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has been successfully running a school feeding program since 2002, in close cooperation with the Lao Ministry of Education. [...] We talk about education and school feeding in the Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) with Ms Karin Manente, WFP country director in Vientiane.
BlogCritics Magazine
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

WFP food shipment arrives in Vanni

The World Food Program’s second major relief food consignment of 500 metric tonnes of mixed food commodities (rice, wheat, flour, lentils, sugar and vegetable oil) reached Puthumathalan, the Government designated ‘safe zone’ along the Northeastern coast of Mullaitivu, on a Government arranged ship sailing under ICRC flag. The food sent to the area will be sufficient to feed around 100,000 Internally Displaced Persons for a period of 10 days. Earlier, nearly 160 metric tonnes of mixed food was sent through smaller boats on multiple occasions, while on March 7, the first large consignment by sea of 500 metric tonnes was dispatched to the conflict zone after road convoys were discontinued in late January 2009.
Daily News (Sri Lanka)
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

Sri Lanka facing 'serious humanitarian crisis', says ICRC

Sri Lanka faces a 'serious humanitarian crisis' and there is an urgent need to halt fighting at least briefly to rescue people in the war zone, according to the international Red Cross. There was also not enough food and medicines for the large mass of civilians in the conflict area, said Paul Castella, who heads the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sri Lanka. [...] Castella, who has been in Sri Lanka since September 2008, acknowledged Colombo's role in providing health and other facilities for the civilians. But much more needed to be done. 'Food supplies are not enough. Both the government and the World Food Programme have contributed. Right now 500 tonnes are being unloaded, off Muallaitivu. 'It is good it has come. But food is very late, too little, and people are afraid to collect it (because of unending fighting),' he said.
Indo-Asian News Service (IANS)
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

Q+A - Why is hungry North Korea refusing U.S. food aid?

North Korea, which suffers from chronic food shortages and where some people are believed to be on the brink of starvation, has rejected food aid from the United States, the U.S. State Department said. [...] The secretive and impoverished state is deeply uncomfortable with foreign aid workers heading deep into its countryside, seeing them as potential spies or troublemakers. It has long sought to have the aid brought to central points and do the distribution itself. The United States and the U.N. World Food Programme want full control over distribution to make sure the food reaches the most vulnerable and is not, as some suspect, diverted to the military.
Reuters

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