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
16 March 2009

Peace hopes fade in Philippine south

The BBC's Jill McGivering looks at prospects for peace in Mindanao, where fighting between Philippine troops and separatist rebels is causing a humanitarian crisis.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
16 March 2009

WFP wants safe passage in Tarai for food aid

The UN food agency World Food Program has urged agitating groups in the Tarai to allow free movement of vehicles transporting humanitarian foods supplies. WFP said it has been unable to deliver food assistance to more than 325,000 highly food-insecure people across Nepal, including Koshi flood victims and the Bhutanese refugees, due to disruption in transportation for the last two weeks. “The WFP will be organizing convoys of humanitarian food assistance. These trucks will be moving along multiple sections of the East-West Highway and toward Birendranagar in Surkhet,” said UN agency in a statement Friday.
Republica (Nepal)
Hunger in the news
15 March 2009

Interview: Priscila de Molina of the World Food Programme in Guatemala

In Latin America, the country of Guatemala suffers high child malnutrition rates. Jennifer Mizgata, a United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) officer in Washington DC, visited Guatemala and saw first-hand the suffering of children. Mizgata, in an account of her visit published in the Baltimore Sun, wrote: "Henri is just 11, but already his prematurely wizened face is that of a grown-up - a casualty of a daily job breaking rocks in the sun. By contrast, his small body resembles that of the average American 8-year-old..... Yet thanks to an alternative school program and his own determination, Henri is able to study in the afternoon. In fact, he is the best math student in his class. ... Henri is kept out of traditional school by marginal school fees and his need to work to survive. While investing in education is critical, Guatemalans must first be able to eat. Without food, Henri and his peers can't focus on their education." School feeding is desperately needed in Gautemala. Priscila De Molina is a WFP program assistant in Guatemala and she recently discussed the details of school feeding in the country.
BlogCritics Magazine
Hunger in the news
15 March 2009

Kenya to get Sh400m from Japan to fight hunger

Kenya is set to get Sh400 million ($5 million) from a new fund approved by Japanese Parliament to help feed the hungry in 21 countries. The country’s share is part of $124.2 million (Sh9.93 billion) Japan has donated through United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help alleviate high food prices in 19 African countries and Afghanistan Pakistan. WFP’s Japan Relations Office Director Mohamed Saleheen said the aid package proved Japan’s leadership in addressing the global food crisis. "Despite a sharp decline in international cereal prices, those in many developing countries are still very high, above the 2005 and 2007 levels," he said.
The Standard
Hunger in the news
14 March 2009

Interview: Louis Imbleau, World Food Programme Country Director in Liberia

Liberia is recovering from a civil war which lasted from 1989-2003. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reports, “The war displaced nearly one million Liberians, left the country’s infrastructure in shreds and wiped out health and education systems.” [...] As George Marshall once said, "Food is the very basis of all reconstruction," and this holds true for Liberia. But without enough funding and support, programs like Food for Education will not be available for all children. Louis Imbleau, the country director for WFP in Liberia, discusses how important school meals are for the children.
BlogCritics Magazine
Hunger in the news
14 March 2009

Row with US delays relief food

A consignment of maize from the United States intended to feed Kenyans facing starvation almost did not make it into the country because of a diplomatic dispute between the Kenyan and American governments. The Sunday Nation has learnt that before US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger received the maize worth Sh780 million in Mombasa on Friday, there had been a lot of communication between the Kenyan and US governments after a Kenyan official stood in the way of clearing the food. [...] In January, President Kibaki launched an appeal to the international community to supply Sh37 billion of relief food. Several Western diplomats responded by expressing concern over what they viewed as the government’s failure to stem corruption. Britain has offered relief food to Kenya but will deliver it through the World Food Programme not the government.
The Daily Nation
Hunger in the news
14 March 2009

Seized Darfur aid workers freed

Three foreign aid workers abducted in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur three days ago have been released. The Medecins Sans Frontieres staff - a French administrator, a Canadian nurse and an Italian doctor - were safely back in the Sudanese capital Khartoum. They were freed on Saturday along with a Sudanese national, having been abducted at gunpoint on Wednesday. "We are incredibly relieved that our colleagues are safe," said Christopher Stokes, a senior MSF official.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
13 March 2009

10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now

Take a moment to consider breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Maybe you grabbed a banana or ate a bowl of granola. Whatever it was, chances are that some — if not all — of your morning meal came from a country you don't live in. Food isolationism is dead. It collapsed in a messy, public heap last year when oil hit $100-plus per bbl. and the world's crush on biofuels pushed food prices to unprecedented highs. [...] As climate change and growing populations put ever more pressure on the earth, state-backed searches for land and food contracts as part of a national food-security strategy strike many as fundamentally new. "We're talking about a whole different logic," says Renée Vellvé, a researcher for Grain, an organization that has been compiling media reports of these deals. Vellvé's group sees a downside. When farmers in food-insecure countries like Laos and Cambodia are scrambling to feed their children, does it make sense to lease out vast tracts to grow rice for foreign governments? "These are not fallow fields," says Paul Risley, a World Food Program spokesman based in Thailand. "These are villages where families have farmed for centuries."
Time Magazine (Online)
Hunger in the news
13 March 2009

Salt of this earth

[...] Iraq’s agriculture sector – which currently employs about 40 per cent of working Iraqis with jobs – is in serious trouble. Droughts have rendered much formerly lush land salty and useless. Wheat production has dropped by over 50 per cent. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the country is losing five per cent of its farmable land each year, and 2008 was the first year in modern Iraqi history that the country was a net food importer. Oxfam and the World Food Program have noted nationwide malnutrition problems
The National (UAE)
Hunger in the news
13 March 2009

WFP gives $179 mln to Bangladesh's poorest for food

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) [will] provide $179 million over the next nine months to help Bangladesh's poorest people, who have been hard hit by high food prices and natural disasters. Around 259,592 tonnes of food commodities are expected to be procured and distributed among 5 million people in both urban and rural areas who are least able to feed their families, the WFP said in a statement.
Reuters

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