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
27 February 2009

India tops world hunger chart

India is failing its rural poor with 230 million people being undernourished — the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India as every third adult (aged 15-49 years) is reported to be thin (BMI less than 18.5). According to the latest report on the state of food insecurity in rural India, more than 1.5 million children are at risk of becoming malnourished because of rising global food prices. [...] Brought out by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the report points to some staggering figures. More than 27% of the world's undernourished population lives in India while 43% of children (under 5 years) in the country are underweight. The figure is among the highest in the world and is much higher than the global average of 25% and also higher than sub-Saharan Africa's figure of 28%.
Times of India
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Economy overshadows Asean summit

The impact of the global financial crisis on South-East Asia and worries over food security are expected to dominate talks at a meeting of regional leaders gathering for a summit in Thailand. Leaders from the 10-member Association of South-East Asian Nations (Asean) began three days of meetings in the beach resort town of Hua Hin on Friday. [...] Although land in the 10 Asean nations is largely fertile, there has been a growing trend of richer nations buying up large tracts of land to feed their own people. It is a practise that is worrying humanitarian agencies who fear it threatens the food supplies of local populations, leaving poorer nations at risk of hunger and food insecurity. [...] "You're seeing wealthier nations investing in buying land in South-East Asia… looking not simply to enrich the local communities, but rather to build very large food plantations that will essentially remove the food that is produced from the local economy and take it to wealthier nations," Paul Risley, Thailand-based spokesman of the World Food Programme, told Al Jazeera.
Al Jazeera
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Up to 85,000 people to flee Sri Lanka war

Up to 85,000 civilians trapped in northeastern Sri Lanka could flee the war zone in coming weeks as the army closes in on rebel-held territory, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday. [...] Some 36,000 displaced Sri Lankans have already fled to government-controlled areas of Vavuniya and Jaffna, according to the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP), which delivered 40 metric tonnes of food by tugboat to the northern government-designated safe zone in the Vanni area on Thursday. It was its first delivery in six weeks after WFP land convoys were interrupted by the fighting on January 16, WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella said. The agency hopes to deliver up to 300 metric tonnes of food per week, she said.
International Herald Tribune / Reuters
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Archbishops launch joint appeal for aid for Zimbabweans

THE ARCHBISHOPS of Canterbury and York have launched an appeal for money to help Anglican dioceses and parishes in Zimbabwe distribute food and medical aid. Half the population was now at risk of starvation, and the human itarian crisis was “at an appalling level”, Dr Williams said. The Archbishops’ joint appeal from Lambeth Palace was broadcast on the BBC News on Ash Wednes day, already designated by the Prim ates of the Anglican Communion as a day of prayer and fasting for Zimbabwe. Deaths from cholera had climbed to almost 4000 in the past couple of weeks, Dr Williams said. [...] The appeal comes as many donor countries have reduced their aid because of the political deal that has been struck. The World Food Pro gramme has consequently had to cut back its distribution to Zimbabwe, even though an estimated seven million people are at risk of starva tion. Donors wanted to see the results of the new political arrange ments before committing them selves, the Archbishops suggested.
Church Times
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Cashew and Cocoa: Reducing Hunger and Poverty

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a campaign to support small-scale cashew and cocoa farming in sub-Saharan Africa to alleviate hunger and poverty. The foundation says its main goal is to help more than 350,000 farmers “increase their incomes so they can build better lives for themselves and their families.” [...] Director of agricultural development, Rajiv Shah, says the foundation has similar investment plans in the coffee and dairy sectors of East Africa. He says the foundation is already helping small-scale farmers sell their crops to the World Food Program.
Voice of America News
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Free Lunch Tempts Children Into School

The promise of a free meal at lunchtime has over the past few years seen up to 39,000 children going to school in the Republic of Congo, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP). "Between 2002 and 2009 we've been feeding up to 39,000 children at 1,072 primary schools in the Congo, which has helped them to keep studying," Central Africa regional WFP assistant director Sory Ouane said. "With the help of the Congo [government] we will significantly increase this number in the future."
All Africa / IRIN
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Global Financial Crisis Surface In Ghana

Currently, Ghana is an economy that is being held together with bailing wire and glue, strangled in a madman's race to see what kills it first, corporate food and medical nightmares or the ever increasing march to global financial war. [...] The big question now for Africa is how badly it will be bruised by the global financial meltdown. “It's becoming clear that many developing countries — African countries — will not be immune to the spillover effects of this global financial crisis,” says CEO, Gold Coast Securities, Ben Kujar. So, we consider that … particularly poor people within these countries are now in a kind of danger zone. And the danger for them lies in the fact that they're taking a hit from what I call the “Four Fs” — the fuel crisis, food crisis, the fertilizer crisis and now the financial crisis.” Ben Kujar is referring to the massive rise in the price of the three commodities — fuel, food and fertilizer — over the past year or so that has prompted riots in several African countries, including Ghana. He warns that the current global turbulence could certainly have a knock-on effect on the continent
Modern Ghana
For Companies
27 February 2009

Walk the World: The Origins

WFP
Hunger in the news
27 February 2009

Zimbabwe: UN Pledge to Contain Humanitarian Crisis

A United Nations interagency humanitarian mission to Zimbabwe has pledged to ensure that the country's humanitarian crisis is contained. Addressing reporters in Johannesburg on Thursday, UN Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Bragg said the country's humanitarian crisis remained grave. [...] According to the Deputy Regional Representative from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Timo Pakkala, the programme has spent more than $240 million to support at least seven million vulnerable people as well as curtail food shortage.
All Africa / Bua News
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Getting shirty for Rwanda

Warwickshire express delivery giant TNT has put in another ‘Premier League’ performance after being called on by a prospective parliamentary candidate to deliver hundreds of football shirts to English soccer fans in Rwanda, Africa. [...] Tom Bell, Managing Director, TNT Express Services UK & Ireland, said: “We already have strong links with Africa and are major backers of the United Nations’ World Food Programme’s efforts in Tanzania. Whenever we’re there, we see how much football can unite people from different nations.
Birmingham Post

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