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
12 March 2009

United Nations: Yemen one of the most Food-insecure Countries

High prices last year aggravated food insecurity among poor households, which were already suffering severe food insecurity, according to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). World Food Program (WFP) representative in Yemen Giancarlo Cirri was citied as saying Yemen is one of the most food-insecure countries globally and the most food-insecure in the Middle East. [...] “High food prices have affected the entire country. But certain areas which are poorer than others were most affected. These include the governorates of Saada, Amran, Hajjah, Hudeidah, Lahj, Al-Jawf, Al-Baidha, and Hadramaut,” said Cirri.
Yemen Post
Hunger in the news
12 March 2009

WFP Phases Out Food Aid to IDPs

The World Food Programme (WFP) has stopped food aid to about 214,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Uganda. Since January, the programme phased out food aid for about 66,000 IDPs in Pader district, more than 58,000 others in Amuru district, about 60,000 in Kitgum and another 27,000 in Gulu district," the country director, Stanlake Samkange, said. He said the move was taken after consultation with humanitarian partners and district leaders.
All Africa / New Vision
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

KC wants to follow Jolie, Barrymore's example

KC Concepcion said she is planning to either write a book tackling her work as a national ambassador against hunger for United Nations-World Food Programme (UN-WFP) or blog about her experience. Concepcion said she wants to follow the example of Hollywood stars Angelina Jolie and Drew Barrymore. [...] Concepcion also disclosed that she might see Barrymore in Rome, Italy on March 27 when she meets with the UN-WFP executives.
ABS-CBN News
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

Farm production grinds to a halt as farm invasions continue

Production at the handful of functioning farms remaining in Zimbabwe has ground to a halt, with ongoing farm invasions and threats of evictions forcing farmers to abandon their crops. A fresh wave of farm invasions have seen more than 80 farms seized since last month and has left more than 100 farmers facing possible prosecution. [...] Zimbabweans are battling a crippling countrywide food shortage that has left more than seventy percent of the population in critical need of international food aid. The UN’s World Food Programme has in turn been forced to cut its aid rations to cater for the overwhelming number of starving people in Zimbabwe – a country that was once regarded as the breadbasket of Africa.
The Zimbabwean / SWRadio Africa
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

Britain increases hunger fighting funding in Kenya

The British government has announced 5.5 million pounds (about 7.5 million U.S. dollars) from its development agency, DFID, to fight starvation in Kenya. A statement from the British High Commission in Kenya said visiting British Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander said the funds will be channeled through the World Food Program (WFP). During his visit to Nairobi's Mathare slums on Wednesday, Alexander outlined the Britain's commitment to addressing the most urgent humanitarian needs in Kenya. He noted that the new funding to WFP will ensure that those Kenyans most in need are targeted.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

Opaque defender of tyranny

[...] In response to the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant which was issued against Bashir on Wednesday, the minister of foreign affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, reiterated the South African position: “We don’t condone impugnity but South Africa supported the decision of the African Union to defer the issuing of the warrant of arrest against President Al-Bashir by a year to give the peace processes in the Sudan a chance. [...] It follows that South Africa is unlikely to worry too much about the fact that in response to the arrest warrant Bashir promptly expelled aid groups on which more than one million refugees in Darfuri camps depend directly for their basic livelihood. The head of the UN World Food Programme, Josette Sheeran, said: “This is a whole new kind of hell for the people of Darfur . With the loss of these NGOs, 1.1 million people will be without food aid, 1.1 million will be without healthcare, and over one million will be without potable water.” Bashir’s strategy seems obvious. If the humanitarian crisis escalates enough then the UN security council might force the year’s delay in court proceedings he and the African Union are gunning for.
The Times (South Africa)
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

WFP plans global fund to pre-buy food stocks

The U.N. World Food Programme plans to launch a global fund that will allow it to secure food stocks in advance rather than panic-buying when crises hit, the agency's chief said on Tuesday. Josette Sheeran, executive director of the world's largest humanitarian organisation, said the move would help bring predictability to food aid and prevent distortion of local markets already hit by food-price spikes and the financial meltdown. "One thing that was revealed last year was that even if we had the contributions (from donors), sometimes we could not buy the food, or we had to buy it from far away," she told Reuters in an interview. "We were buying food from Brazil to reach East Africa. That's a long trip." [...] "So we are looking at instituting an advanced-purchase facility ... where we can buy food and pre-position it six months ahead of the need and buy it when harvests are full, and not during the lean season. We have never been able to do this.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

Ending Child Hunger: School Feeding in Malawi

School lunch programs can offer a calm in the storm of poverty in developing countries. Having children ensured a meal at school is a valuable safety net for poor families. The African nation of Malawi is one country that needs universal school feeding to overcome hunger and poverty. Romina Woldemariam, Deputy Head of the UN World Food Programme in Malawi, discussed this Food for Education initiative in an interview during 2008.
California Chronicle
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

Our noble attempts to 'feed the world' are simply not working

In recent decades, it seemed the struggle against world hunger was finally meeting with some success. But the number of undernourished people is growing again. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, the number of hungry people in poor countries has increased by 109 million to 963 million since 2004. Unicef estimates that each day 300 million children go to bed hungry. Some 90% of these people are chronically hungry, meaning that their hunger is not due to a famine or war, but rather that they lack long-term access to sufficient amounts of food. [...] For most donor countries, the response is to ship food aid to poor countries. While the impulse is generous, food aid is a quick fix – it fills stomachs but does not provide an enduring solution to hunger and poverty. [...] Buying food aid locally, as the UN World Food Programme is increasingly doing, is [an] important step away from the inefficiency of food aid.
Our noble attempts to 'feed the world' are simply not working
Hunger in the news
11 March 2009

Short Film Calls for Global School Lunch Program To Help Fight World Hunger

The short film "Ending Child Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World" is a call to action to end the hunger that afflicts over 300 million children worldwide. [...] The film begins by showing school lunch programs in Austria and Germany following World War II. It was those meals that were crucial to the recovery of Europe since they gave children nourishment, education, and hope. According to the United Nations World Food Programme director Josette Sheeran, "The goodwill done during post-World War II from Japan to Germany, France, Scandinavia and beyond helped build goodwill and stability for a generation." Sheeran, speaking at the International Food Aid Conference last year, added that a simple cup of food for children "has the power to transform lives" and that "throughout many decades, for children this becomes their most precious possession."
American Chronicle

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