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
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
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

NKorea refuses US food amid missile standoff

Chronically hungry North Korea has refused further US food aid, the State Department and aid groups said Thursday, as a showdown mounts over a feared missile test by the communist state. [...] Under a deal reached in June last year, the United States agreed to distribute 500,000 metric tonnes of food to North Korea -- 400,000 through the UN World Food Program and the rest through the NGOs. With the WFP in charge of mass distribution, the NGOs focused on reaching the most vulnerable, including children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. It had brought in 71,000 tonnes and distributed 50,000 so far, Portella said.
Sydney Morning Herald / AFP
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

North Korea refuses US food aid

The US says North Korea has refused to accept any further food aid supplies. Five aid groups have been told to leave the North by the end of March, the US state department and aid groups said. The UN World Food Programme estimates that almost nine million people - more than a third of the North Korean population - are in need of food aid. [...] Robin Lodge, a spokesman for the programme, said he had yet to hear anything about whether WFP staff would also be affected, but he added that he was very concerned. North Korea is now entering the most critical period of the year for food aid, he said - where stocks from the previous harvest are starting to run out and it is too early for the next harvest. "We're very worried that people could be seriously hungry there," he told the BBC. "We estimate that nearly nine million people are in serious need of food aid."
BBC News
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

Food aplenty, but not for some Kabul residents

Bobogul, 60, has been finding it hard to get by. Recently widowed and now the head of the household, she has nine people to feed. Her son tries to find work, but casual labour is erratic and the wages haven't kept up with food prices. Bobogul, like thousands of other Kabul residents, is relying on one of the U.N. World Food Programme's recently launched urban food distributions. [...] The scene is familiar enough in rural Afghanistan, where food is often scarce. But this is Kabul. Not far away is a bustling market where stalls overflow with fresh fruit and vegetables, and hunks of meat hanging from butcher's hooks. Nowadays, many people are too poor to afford the food that is available. It's the result of a poor harvest last year and high food prices the world over.
Toronto Star
18 March 2009

U.N. to halt West Africa aid flights

The United Nations will shut down its humanitarian air services in much of West Africa because of a shortage of funds, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday. Emilia Casella of the World Food Programme (WFP) said the chartered aircraft used to ferry aid workers and supplies to remote parts of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Ivory Coast would stop on Friday, March 20. "In areas that are not reachable by land ... aid workers will not be able to reach vulnerable people with medical care, food, water and sanitation, and other crucial services," she told a news briefing in Geneva. "The U.N. will also not be in a position to carry out timely medical and security evacuations of humanitarian personnel, if and when needed," the spokeswoman said. There are 250 humanitarian agencies now working in the affected West African countries, Casella said. The exact number of people receiving help from the U.N. air service was not known, but thousands of people would be affected, she said.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
18 March 2009

UN set to double Kenya food aid

The World Food Programme (WFP) will now feed 3.5 million people hit by drought and high food prices. Many families are struggling to find food for one meal a day, it said. The Kenyan government declared a national disaster in January following the failure of the short rains in south-eastern and coastal areas. BBC correspondents say last year's political violence has also contributed to food shortages because many displaced people were unable to plant their crops.
BBC News

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