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
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
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Nepal: Food prices to be volatile in 2009

Food prices in Nepal will continue to remain volatile in 2009 if cost drivers which were responsible for the high prices last year persist, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said. Domestic cost drivers which caused prices to rise by as much as 40 percent on some food stuffs in 2008 were bandhs and blockades, high transportation costs and transport syndicates. The year-on-year food and beverage inflation in Nepal was approximately 17 percent compared to India's inflation rate of approximately 10 percent. "Global food prices and, more importantly, prices in India will also have an impact on food prices in Nepal," said Richard Ragan, WFP country director.
Kantipur Online
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Russia donates food worth 1 million dollars to Zimbabwe

The Russian Federation has donated a planeload of cooking oil and wheat flour worth 1 million U.S. dollars to Zimbabwe through the United Nations' World Food Program, local media reported on Thursday. Russia also pledged to provide a further 2 million dollars worth of food aid in due course, according to Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Sergey Kryukov.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

200,000 Somali Children Malnourished

Thousands of Somalis are suffering from malnutrition, a lack of clean water and poor sanitation conditions, putting Somali children at particularly high risk, a United Nations report says. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs cautions that Somalis could become more vulnerable to waterborne diseases, which are responsible for a fifth of the deaths among children under the age of five in Somalia. Some 200,000 Somalia children are “acutely malnourished” and a quarter of them are in need of immediate treatment in order to survive, OCHA says. [...] The U.N says three million Somalis, nearly a third of the population, will remain dependent on humanitarian assistance this year. “We’re seeing a continued deterioration of the nutrition situation in Somalia in certain areas,” said Marcus Prior, a spokesman for the World Food Programme (WFP). “I was in Somalia in December in a town on the border with Ethiopia where the nearest proper clinic was 70 kilometers away, with very little option to get there other than by foot,” he told The Media Line. A newly elected president in Somalia could bring positive developments and greater stability, but Marcus said the situation was still difficult.
The Media Line
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Spending wisely

There will be push-back, a tendency to try to cast the reforms as cold-hearted. But there is an undeniable logic to the Conservative government's decision to focus Canada's foreign aid on fewer countries, down to 20, and to shift the emphasis to the Americas where Canada can and should play more of a leadership role. Already, critics have weighed in with lamentations that the shift could hurt the poorest of the poor in Africa. However, the Canadian International Development Agency remains a large contributor to international relief agencies, such as the United Nations World Food Program, and African countries remain well represented on the list of 20, which includes Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Sudan and Tanzania. It is false to suggest that continent has been abandoned.
Globe and Mail (Canada)
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Some advice for Ambassador Rice

From 2001 to 2008 I spent my days (and many nights) speaking for the United States at the United Nations. I was the longest serving American spokesman in history and it gave me a unique perspective on the United Nations and its relationship with its largest funder - the American taxpayer. The reality of how the U.N. works is not what some people on the right and the left would have you believe. As Susan Rice begins her tenure representing America at the U.N., she will find an institution in great need of change. [...] The best run agencies at the U.N. are the ones like UNICEF and the World Food Program where contributions are voluntary, not obligatory, and the top management are responsible to and held accountable by a board.
Washington Times
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Buenos Aires package aims to appease farmers

Argentina’s government has offered an olive branch to the country’s powerful farming sector in an attempt to head off a fresh conflict following a four-month dispute last year. The farmers are expecting their worst harvest in 40 years. At a meeting on Tuesday the government waived export tariffs on milk and granted subsidies to small producers. It also offered a subsidy to boost domestic wheat prices and promised to reopen the wheat export registry that it keeps under close control to protect the internal market. Tax breaks were offered to meat producers, along with aid to ranchers hit by drought.
Financial Times
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Deeper Understanding Needed of Food Shortage Challenges

U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar made the following remarks Wednesday at the Global Agricultural Development Project's release of the report: "Sustainable Foreign Assistance: Helping the World Feed Itself." [...] As we know, food prices began a steep climb in the Fall of 2007 and continued to increase during 2008. The increases pushed an additional 75 million people into poverty. While prices have abated somewhat, millions of people still face difficulty in food access and availability, and malnutrition rates in many parts of the world remain alarmingly high. We live in a world where nearly one billion people suffer from chronic food insecurity. The World Food Program reports that 25,000 people die each day from malnutrition-related causes.
USAgnet
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Little-known, dispersed and dying

How many people still live in Somalia? No one knows. The UN says around 10m. Just as Somalia’s problems of jihadism and piracy have gone global, so have its people. [...] Dozens of aid workers, campaigners and journalists, most of them locals, have been killed in the past year or so. Hundreds more have been beaten, threatened or forced into exile. [...] Just as this correspondent was about to visit southern Somalia with people from the UN’s World Food Programme, the trip was cancelled when two of the agency’s workers were shot dead and a third died on an airstrip waiting for medical help.
The Economist
Hunger in the news
26 February 2009

Zimbabwe Awaits US$500 Million Aid Infusion to End Cholera Epidemic

The United Nations inter-agency humanitarian mission that concluded its work in Zimbabwe this week has called for Harare and the international community to bolster efforts to end a relentless cholera epidemic and stave off hunger threatening much of the population. [...] Mission chief Catherine Bragg, U.N. assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and deputy emergency relief coordinator, reiterated her appeal in a news conference Thursday in Johannesburg after summarizing her team's assessment Wednesday in Harare. [...] Elsewhere, the World Food Program said it is facing a funding shortfall of US$140 million in its emergency food distribution program for Zimbabwe. Organization spokeswoman Claudia Altorio told reporter Brenda Moyo that it is too early to predict the outcome of the 2009 harvest, but given the lack of inputs such as seed and fertilizer the agency is planning to keep providing food assistance up to 2010.
Voice of America News

Video

Fighting Hunger Worldwide