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
2 March 2009

Ethiopian farmers begin recovery of land

Mulualem Tegegn bought a donkey last year – a proud achievement for this 58-year-old grandfather in the Amhara highlands of Ethiopia. Several years of drought, coupled with skyrocketing food prices, had stolen his livelihood; him and his family have been forced to eat seed that would have been planted, and sell livestock that was his source of income. [...] A few years ago, Tegegn got involved with a land rehabilitation program, offered by his government and assisted by the World Food Programme (WFP). In a land where rain has many names (depending on the season), the Productivity Safety Net Programme (PSNP) showed him how to harvest it whenever, and wherever, it fell.
Toronto Star Online
Hunger in the news
2 March 2009

Nepal: WFP forecasts poor winter harvest

The UN food agency has forecasted huge fall in the production of winter crops in drought-hit hill and mountain districts. “Due to almost complete absence of rainfall during the winter season, the outlook for the wheat and barley harvest is bleak, particularly in the rain-fed areas of the Far and Mid West as well as in several districts of central hills,” the World Food Program–Nepal in its crop situation update said Monday. The WFP’s Food Security Monitoring and Analysis System had prepared the report after visiting 247 farmers in 20 districts which are hit by insufficient rain.
Republica (Nepal)
Hunger in the news
2 March 2009

Russia to donate food, medicine, vehicles for Gaza restoration

Russia will donate food, medication, armored vehicles and civilian helicopters to the Palestinian National Authority to help rebuild the Gaza Strip, Russia's foreign minister said on Monday. [...] According to an official statement from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivered by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the conference, "large quantities of flour will be delivered in the near future for Palestinian needs through the UN World Food Program" and two additional Russian cargo planes will deliver medication and other humanitarian aid.
Ria Novosti
Hunger in the news
2 March 2009

Starvation and Strife Menace Torn Kenya

One year after this country exploded in ethnic bloodshed, trouble is brewing here again. Ten million people face starvation, partly because farmers in crucial food-producing areas who fled their homes last year have not returned, instead withdrawing deeper into their ethnic enclaves, deeper into fear. At the same time, public confidence in the Kenyan government is plummeting. Top politicians have been implicated in an endless string of scandals involving tourism, fuel, guns and corn.
New York Times
Hunger in the news
2 March 2009

USAID provides $22.3 mln for food relief

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Friday announced the signing of an agreement valued at $22.3 million to help ease the burden of food prices. The agreement was signed by Joseph Williams, Deputy Mission Director USAID/Pakistan and Wolfgang Herbinger, WFP Pakistan Representative in a ceremony held here on Friday. [...] WFP Representative in Pakistan, Wolfgang Herbinger said “This grant comes at a very critical time and will help WFP continue its assistance to three million needy people.” He appreciated the role of USAID as a development partner in addressing the hardships faced by poor people. WFP’s emergency operation in response to high food prices started in October 2008 with the help of generous contributions from USA, Saudi Arabia and later also from Japan.
Pakistan Times
Hunger in the news
1 March 2009

Gaza aid troubled by logistics, closures, disunity

Palestinians hoping to raise $2.8 billion to rebuild Gaza at a conference in Egypt on Monday will find the path to reconstruction blocked by political and logistical factors, relief agencies say. Egypt, which called for the gathering soon after Israel halted its Gaza offensive in January, says leaders from some 70 countries will attend including the presidents of France and Italy, and foreign ministers from Britain and the United States. But the Islamist Hamas movement which runs Gaza is not invited. Donors will seek to ensure no money reaches the group, and there is no guarantee that Gaza's borders will be opened to let sufficient supplies flow in. [...] Daly Belgasmi, the regional director of the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP), said: "It's quite challenging ... but we are working closely with Israel to coordinate our movement". The United States is expected to pledge more than $900 million at the conference, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also stressed that any aid must not benefit Hamas, which the U.S. deems a terrorist organisation.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
1 March 2009

Interview: Jakob Mikkelsen of the UN World Food Programme in Ethiopia

[...] The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently reported that drought and high food prices [in Ethiopia] have pushed 12 million people into hunger. For struggling families, knowing that their child is ensured a meal at school is an important safety net in times of crisis. As part of a long-term strategy to eliminate the high poverty rate in the country, school feeding is essential. The World Food Programme is working to help make sure every child in Ethiopia can receive a school lunch. Jakob Mikkelsen, a WFP representative in Ethiopia, talks about the importance of school feeding.
BlogCritics Magazine
Hunger in the news
1 March 2009

Robert Mugabe vows to continue farm seizures

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe told followers at his lavish birthday party to respect the new power-sharing government but vowed to press on with seizures of white farms. The extravagant celebrations were held against a backdrop of economic ruin and came weeks after the veteran leader joined a unity government with long-time rival Morgan Tsvangirai. [...] Land reforms have been blamed for the food crisis in the former grain exporter as many of the beneficiaries lack both the skills and means to farm. [...] The country is [...] battling severe food shortages amid hyperinflation which has rendered the Zimbabwean dollar useless. The World Food Programme reported last month that the number of people without food was estimated at 6.9 million -- more than half the population.
The Australian / AFP
Hunger in the news
28 February 2009

Interview: Giorgia Testolin, Country Director of the World Food Programme - Djibouti

In the Horn of Africa, the country of Djibouti struggles to produce its own food due to successive droughts. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reports that Djibouti’s population of about 632,000 depends entirely on imported food. With high poverty and low education levels within the country, WFP has been implementing school feeding programs. Giorgia Testolin, Country Director of WFP Djibouti, talks about this Food for Education initiative.
BlogCritics Magazine
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Candian help sought for food security

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture seeks collaboration of Canada in various sectors of agriculture development including food security, improvement in storage facility particularly for wheat, rice and maize. These views were discussed during a meeting among High Commissioner of Canada Randolph Mank, Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture Nazar Mohammad Gondal and senior officials of the ministry here today. [...] The High Commissioner of Canada, Randolph Mank expressed his interest in trade of food, Canadian beef, cooperation in agriculture education through University of Gulf and fish farming in Karachi. The ambassador said Japan would give $7 million under World Food Programme aid to Pakistan soon.
Daily Times (Pakistan)

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