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
24 February 2009

Aid groups plan renewed fight on hunger

Lost jobs, faltering banks and recession have pushed the issue of world hunger out of U.S. headlines, but U.S. aid groups are set to launch a plan to refocus attention on the issue, former U.S. Senator George McGovern said on Monday. The plan, to be announced on Tuesday by aid organizations including Feed the Children, Oxfam America, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Catholic Relief Services, may be the key to persuade President Barack Obama's administration to move ahead on hunger issues once the domestic economy is stabilized, said McGovern, an veteran of the effort to end world hunger. The pressing need to feed the nearly 1 billion people around the world who are chronically hungry has faded from public attention, McGovern said. "It's back on the back-burner right now, but there's still a flame there. It's a focus now on our own domestic economic problems that transcends the focus on anything else in government," he said.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
24 February 2009

Food security in India leaves much to be desired

India's malnutrition figures are not coming down despite a number of government programmes, says a new report released by World Food Programme. The research points out the need for a revamped public distribution system and greater public investment to address the wants of rural population.
One World South Asia
Hunger in the news
24 February 2009

Hunger groups push for boost in U.S. aid budgets

Cutting world hunger needs to be a top priority for the Obama administration and Congress, despite the sagging economy and pressing domestic initiatives, aid groups said on Tuesday. The United States should boost spending on food and agricultural aid by 60 percent in 2010 to $6.36 billion, and commit to further increases to $13.31 billion by 2014, a broad coalition of aid and development organizations said. [...] Groups have forged consensus that traditional emergency shipments of U.S.-grown farm commodities should be balanced with longer-term cash and development programs, said Karen Sendelback, president of Friends of the World Food Program. Farm groups and shippers may fight the move, said David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, but cash-based aid can often be faster, cheaper, and more appropriate. "If you're trying to feed babies, corn isn't what you need," Beckmann said.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
24 February 2009

Karamoja needs sh150b — UN

AID agencies are in need of sh150b (about $77m) this year to address the humanitarian needs in the Karamoja region, according to a UN report. The Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (COHA) said sh100b (about $52.6m) would go to food assistance. [...] According to the report, the World Food Programme (WFP) and other aid partners estimate that many people in Karamoja will continue to require food assistance, given the small harvest in 2008.
New Vision
Hunger in the news
24 February 2009

UN pledges to assist Zimbabwe beyond cholera epidemic

The United Nations has pledged to assist Zimbabwe beyond the cholera epidemic with any other help Harare may require, including reviving the agricultural sector to ensure national food security, The Herald reported on Tuesday. President Mugabe appreciated the humanitarian assistance provided by UN agencies, citing the World Health Organization, World Food Programme(WFP) and the United Nations Children's Fund. "We will never, never fail to acknowledge that charitable work that is going on through the WHO, WFP and Unicef," he said.
People's Daily / Xinhua
Hunger in the news
24 February 2009

WFP starts feeding campaign

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Education and Sports have launched a packed lunch campaign for Universal Primary Education children in Amuru district. The campaign was launched by the education minister, Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire, at Otwee parish in Amuru sub-county on Monday. She called upon parents to provide packed lunch to children to improve performance in class.
New Vision
Hunger in the news
23 February 2009

Sri Lanka: Land deliveries still suspended

Food convoys for thousands of displaced in Sri Lanka’s north remain suspended after more than a month, despite rising concerns over a growing food crisis. “The security situation since 16 January has not been conducive for food convoys to go in,” Adnan Khan, country representative for the World Food Programme [WFP] said in Colombo, citing concerns over small arms fire and possible landmines en route. [...] Earlier this month, the UN food agency warned that the entire population of the Vanni faced a food crisis. “Food assistance is urgently needed for those still trapped in the conflict zone,” Khan told IRIN. “The resumption of convoys will only be possible if there is a lull in the conflict, but right now that’s not happening.” According to the UN, tens of thousands of civilians remain in the Vanni after heavy fighting between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who have been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland since 1983.
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
23 February 2009

Bailing out the world's poor

The poorest people on the planet may not be to blame for the current financial crisis, but they are certainly feeling its impact. The global economic slowdown that has followed hot on the heels of the high food and fuel price shocks is expected to cripple more than a quarter of the world's poorest economies and push more than 100 million additional people into abject poverty and food insecurity. More people will become poor, and those who were already poor are going to become poorer still. [...] The commitments that the world made to address high food prices may now be forgotten, while literally trillions of dollars are being allocated to bail out financial institutions across the world. It is small wonder, then, that the world's poorest people see this as a glaring double standard: They never profited from the benefits of globalization in the good times, and they are now expected to pay the heaviest price during the hard times.
Toronto Star
Hunger in the news
23 February 2009

Asia-Pacific: Hunger a growing threat to region

Long-term hunger looms large for millions of people in the world’s fastest-growing region, the Asia-Pacific, unless governments invest heavily in agricultural production and put more money in the hands of the poor, a leading economist has warned. Poverty-stricken rural communities are paying more for their food than people in urban centres, seeing their farm land shrinking due to urbanisation and, despite impressive economic growth, cannot find alternative employment, Hafiz Pasha, former UN diplomat and now dean of the School of Social Sciences in Lahore, Pakistan, told legislators at the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Forum on Inequality and Hunger in Sri Lanka on 16 and 17 February 2009.
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
23 February 2009

Many rural Indians 'malnourished'

A new UN report says that many Indians in rural areas suffer malnutrition, despite government programmes. The report says that 40% of children under the age of three are underweight and a third of all men and women suffer from chronic energy deficiency. [...] The report was created by the World Food Programme and India's MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. MS Swaminathan, founder of the research foundation, said: "If you want to achieve food security for an individual you must bring three things together - availability of food, access to food - that means the purchasing power needed to buy the food - and finally the ability to absorb the food into the body."
BBC News

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