Hunger in the news

A daily selection of news reports from the world's media dealing with hunger and responses to it.
Subscribe


Hunger in the news
13 March 2009

Sri Lanka on verge of defeating terrorism: Hillary Clinton

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged that Sri Lanka is now on the verge of defeating terrorism, and that this presented a great opportunity to restore peace, leading to reconstruction and rehabilitation in the country, according to a statement issued by Sri Lanka's presidential office on Friday. She made the remarks when speaking to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse by telephone Friday evening, said the statement. [...] Rajapakse said there were about 50,000 to 70,000 people still remaining in a very small area held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), where the LTTE was preventing the people leaving for safety outside. [...] The government was regularly sending food and medicines to all persons in the affected areas, including those held by the LTTE, with the assistance of the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) and the World Food Program, [he said].
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
13 March 2009

WFP to run pilot project in Zimbabwe: official

The World Food Program (WFP) will soon run a pilot project in Zimbabwe in which it would go into partnership with small scale farmers and buy produce from them, a senior WFP official said on Friday. Visiting WFP deputy executive director Sheila Sisulu said the world body will diversify and expand its programs to promote food self sufficiency in countries by moving away from being a mere aid organization to one that promotes food self sufficiency. [...] "We had a very good discussion with President Mugabe about the role of WFP," she said, adding that the meeting with Mugabe also touched on the need for the WFP to move to programs that promote self sufficiency. Sisulu arrived in the country on Monday and is expected to leave on Friday after a week long visit to the country where millions are depending on food aid for survival following consecutive years of poor harvests.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

Access to land improves women's lives

[...] Many of us in the U.S. don't think much about the direct relationship between land ownership and poverty — and how women are disproportionately affected by lack of land ownership. Women represent 51 percent of the world's population and provide 60 to 80 percent of food production in most developing countries. But they own less than 2 percent of the world's titled land, largely because few have legal rights to land.
Seattle Times
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

Standoff over Sudan president could drag on

[...] President Omar al-Bashir's response to his indictment last week by the International Criminal Court has certainly been defiant: the immediate expulsion of nearly half the aid workers providing food, medicine and shelter to millions of victims of the 6-year-old war in the Darfur region. Many observers fear the small hopes for compromise have grown even smaller. The first international attempt to prosecute a sitting head of state is likely to turn into a long standoff, with the people of Darfur suffering the most.
Washington Post / AP
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

Sri Lanka: UN denounces misuse of food destined for children

The UN has deplored the diversion of high-energy therapeutic food supplies intended for severely malnourished children to Liberation Tigers of Tamils Eelam (LTTE) fighters in combat zones in Sri Lanka’s north. A statement released on 11 March by the UN country office in Sri Lanka said that BP-100 high-energy biscuits found in the possession of a dead Tamil Tiger came from supplies targeted at severely malnourished children. “The UN deplores that such life-saving items, destined for severely malnourished children, were diverted from their intended purpose,” the statement said. [...] "The treatment of malnutrition among children remains a priority for Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Health, UNICEF and the World Food Programme.”
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

Britain donates Sh608 million more to fight hunger

The British government has pledged an additional Sh608 million for hunger[in Kenya], targeting more than 200,000 people. The British Secretary of State for International Development Douglas Alexander, who is in the country, said the funding from the Department for International Development to the World Food Programme (WFP) for fighting starvation was their commitment to assist in the strife. "The funding will ensure that those most in need are targeted," Mr Alexander said.
The Standard
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

Sudan: Other NGOs Ready to Move Into Darfur - Official

Several relief organisations from Arab and Asian countries have applied to work in the western Sudanese Darfur region to replace agencies expelled or stopped from working there, a senior official said. "We have received many applications from Arab and Asian countries," Sudanese State Minister for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Haroun, said. "They want to go to Darfur." The applicants include the Red Crescent Societies of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Several doctors and medical supplies were also being sent to Darfur. [...] The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it had lost 35 percent of its food distribution capacity through the expulsion of four of its implementing partners - Save the Children USA, Action Against Hunger, Solidarités and Care International. "WFP does not have the capacity to fill this gap," said spokeswoman Emilia Casella. "Unless the NGOs are allowed to resume their activities, people are going to go hungry."
All Africa / IRIN
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

Aid workers kidnapped in Darfur

Three aid workers from the Belgian office of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) have been kidnapped in Sudan's North Darfur region, the medical organisation has said. A Canadian nurse, an Italian doctor and a French co-ordinator were among five staff members seized on Wednesday night by a group of armed men in Saraf Umra, MSF said on Thursday. [...] The attack on the Belgian MSF branch comes days after the French and Dutch contingents of the aid organisation were kicked out of Darfur. They were among 13 aid groups order to leave Sudan after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president, for alleged war crimes in Darfur. [...] The World Food Programme (WFP) says its four of its partner relief agencies expelled from Darfur were looking after 35 per cent of food distribution to the region.
Al Jazeera
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

World hunger, the crisis inside the economic crisis

The economic crisis has now spread from Wall Street to Main Street to the places where there are no streets. In slums and shacks around the world, hunger is gnawing again as job opportunities shrink but food prices do not. Global cereal prices are 71% higher than they were in 2005, according to the International Monetary Fund, but the wages of many workers are falling. [...] Last year, skyrocketing food prices sparked violent protests in 30 countries and scared many more into making generous donations. The United States doubled its contribution to the U.N. World Food Program. Saudi Arabia handed over a check for $500 million. All told, the world kicked in an extra $2.3 billion. As a result, the U.N. program was able to add 30 million people to the rolls of those being fed, and disaster was averted. [...] The World Food Program says it will need $6 billion this year, $1 billion more than in 2008. So far, it's only raised 10% of that. Of course, it will take vastly more -- and more than money -- to fix the long-term problems that create hunger: under-investment in agriculture and food infrastructure, particularly in Africa; urban development on farmland; and climate change, which will make all of the problems worse.
Los Angeles Times
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

Compounding the crime

Given the history of the Sudanese government’s brutal treatment of the population of Darfur, some adverse reaction to last week’s indictment of President Omar al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) was expected—but nothing quite as bad as what happened. A dozen major international aid agencies and a couple of local ones were immediately expelled from Darfur, and many from the country altogether. [...] By some estimates, the NGOs that have been kicked out contributed 80% of the workers who distributed the World Food Programme’s aid in Darfur—the people, that is, who actually gave the food to the refugees in the camps.
The Economist

Video

Fighting Hunger Worldwide