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
25 February 2009

First Global Aviation Safety Conference acclaimed

Delegates to the first Global Aviation Safety Conference for Humanitarian Air Operations, held in Abu Dhabi at the end of last week, were unanimous in endorsing the event. The conference focused on aviation safety and the unique difficulties faced in transporting aid personnel and materials to sites that are often barely accessible. "This was an excellent forum to explore and share the problems and solutions inherent in airborne humanitarian operations," said Cesar Arroyo, head of aviation safety at the World Food Programme (WFP) which presented the conference.
AME Info
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

WFP gets new country boss

The new Country Director and Representative of World Food Programme (WFP), Abdoulaye Balde, yesterday presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rosemary Museminali. Balde, a Senegalese national, will be responsible for all WFP Rwanda programmes and operations. According to a statement issued by the WFP, Balde is expected to lead the WFP Rwanda team in implementing the three-year corporate strategic plan of 2008-2011; which will see WFP embark on a historical shift from a food aid agency to a food assistance agency. “Our new strategy aims at reducing dependency through supporting governmental and global efforts to ensure long term solutions for food security,” Balde is quoted in the WFP statement as saying.
The New Times (Rwanda)
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

Zimbabwe crisis still grave: UN official

A top UN humanitarian official warned Wednesday that Zimbabwe still faces a grave crisis, with major challenges in averting hunger and stopping a cholera epidemic that has killed 3,800 people. Catherine Bragg, assistant secretary general for humanitarian affairs, said that many parts of Zimbabwe have yet to receive any help in fighting cholera, which has hit more than 83,000 people since August. "The humanitarian situation remains grave. Despite efforts to control cholera, there are many places which are yet to be visited," she told reporters at the end of a five-day mission. She also said that the country faces serious threats from hunger, after the UN's World Food Programme reported last month that the number of people without food was estimated at 6.9 million -- more than half the population.
IC Publications / AFP
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

'Pray and fast' plea for Zimbabwe

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called on Anglicans to "pray, fast and give" to highlight Zimbabwe's slide toward starvation. Dr Williams and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, have chosen the growing crisis in Zimbabwe for their first joint appeal for funds. They said people should give now rather than wait for a political solution. [...] Despite Zimbabwe's desperate plight, the UN's World Food Programme recently reported that donor countries had actually reduced the amount they were giving. The UN said donors were apparently waiting to see what would result from the power-sharing deal between President Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai before committing themselves to further funding.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

N Korea raises fears of missile test

North Korea yesterday said it was preparing to fire a satellite into space, heightening regional fears that a provocative long-range missile test could be imminent. [...] Both the US and South Korea insist any rocket firing by Pyongyang would contravene United Nations Security Council resolution 1718, which was adopted to contain North Korean ballistics following the 2006 atomic test. [...] Impoverished North Korea is under stringent international sanctions and depends on food aid for survival. Imposing further sanctions would exacerbate malnourishment in a country where famine killed about 1m people in the 1990s.
Financial Times
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

China: Wheat Belt Shrivels

Northern China is dry in the best of times. But a long rainless stretch has underscored the urgency of water problems in a region that grows three-fifths of China’s crops and houses more than two-fifths of its people — but gets only one-fifth as much rain as the rest of the country. The current drought, considered the worst in Northern China in at least half a century, is crippling not only the country’s best wheat farmland, but also the wells that provide clean water to industry and to millions of people.
New York Times
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

Less stunting but malnutrition remains in rural India

The last decade has seen stunting among children in rural India fall and access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation improve, according to a new report released by WFP and the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF). But calorie intake and chronic energy deficiency have remained stagnant, the report says. [...] “The report maps hunger and malnutrition hot spots in the country. It is an excellent tool for the government, policy makers and the civil society for identifying food and nutrition insecure areas that need specific interventions,” said Mihoko Tamamura, WFP Representative and Country Director for India. “It also suggests priority areas of action to help achieve the national and Millennium Development Goal of reducing hunger and malnutrition,” she added.
Teatro Naturale
Aid professionals
25 February 2009

Malawi: Cheaper Recipe for Treating Hungry Children

A peanutty paste has revolutionized the treatment of chronically malnourished children. It's a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) that here in Malawi is called Plumpy'nut Chiponde.
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

The missing fruits of labour

A United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) report released last week says that a staggering 230 million—or 21%—of India’s population is undernourished. Poverty is one thing. Malnourishment is a different beast. Amartya Sen calls poverty the deprivation of basic capabilities—not simply lowness of income. Few deprivations are as detrimental as undernourishment, which has dismal instrumental effects on economic productivity and income attainment.
Live Mint
Hunger in the news
25 February 2009

Uganda: Climate Change And Conflicts

Karamoja, a semi-arid region in northeast Uganda, is in crisis: a potent mix of the impact of climate change - 14 droughts in 25 years - border conflicts, armed cattle-raids, and difficult development and sustainability issues are the main features, delegates at a recent conference on Climate Change and Security in Africa learned. The humanitarian impact has meant that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has an ongoing food aid programme in Karamoja for the last 40 years.
All Africa / IRIN

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