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
20 February 2009

Experts working on problem of iodine deficiency disorders

Jaipur - World experts in salt and iodine deficiencies are working for protecting the 38 million children born at risk of iodine deficiency disorders and making efforts to ensure salt is iodised. The two-day meet of Network for Sustained Elimination of Iodine Deficiency (IODINE NETWORK) began here yesterday to address deficiencies that continue to have devastating effects on children around the world, a Network spokesman said. [...] Iodine Network members at the meeting include representatives from UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Micronutrient Initiative (MI), the Global Alliance on Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Salt Institute, EU Salt, China National Salt Industry Corporation, the International Council for the Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (ICCIDD) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
WebIndia123 / UNI
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

The food critique

At a recent meeting on food security in Madrid, Jacques Diouf, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, said that there are “almost one billion who are hungry, out of the 6.5 billion who make up the world population”. At the same meet, Josette Sheeran, World Food Programme’s Executive Director, said the bill for feeding the hungry in 2009 would be somewhere near $5.2 billion. No doubt, the times are tough. Especially for India, considering that the country was ranked 66th in a list of 88 ‘developing countries and countries in transition’ in the 2008 Global Hunger Index.
Hindustan Times
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

Nigeria: The Poor Have a Right to Healthy Food - Ruma

The 32nd Session of the Governing Council kicked off yesterday in Rome, with Nigeria's Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Sayyadi Abba Ruma, delivering the opening address. [...] He cautioned that the race to address rural poverty especially in this time and clime of global food and financial crises, the interest of the people in developing nations should be taken into consideration. He was referring particularly to the issues of genetically modified crops. [...] He said the enthusism shown by corporate bodies promoting the acceptance of these products ignores the fact that there is still so much uncertainty surrounding the safety of the modified crops. Ruma therefore advised the Rome-based trio of the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD and the World Food Programme, WFP, to look closely at these issues, make statements and advise countries further on the risks and/or benefits of these modified crops.
All Africa / Leadership
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

WFP: New Strategy to Fight Hunger in Uganda

The UN World Food Program (WFP) in Uganda has expanded its operation from not only providing emergency relief, but supporting mechanisms to fight hunger, the agency's top official in Kampala said on Thursday. Stanlake Samkange, WFP Country Representative, told reporters that the five-year country strategy has already been agreed on with the government and donors, and is now awaiting approval from the agency's board in June this year. He said the strategy which is expected to start in July this year is aligned to the country's new development plan aimed at fighting poverty. The major components of the strategy include emergency humanitarian action, addressing food and nutrition security and agriculture market support. "Our strategy encompasses a range of interventions that seek not only to treat the symptoms of hunger in emergency situations, but also to help in addressing the underlying causes of hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity in Uganda," he said.
CRI / Xinhua
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

Zimbabwe Stocks May Soar as Bourse Reopens in Dollars

Zimbabwe shares, battered by the world’s highest inflation rate and a decade-long recession, may rebound after the stock exchange reopened yesterday from a three- month suspension with listings re-denominated in U.S. dollars. [...] Zimbabwe is in the grip of an economic crisis that’s left more than half of the African nation’s 11 million people in need of emergency food rations, according to the United Nations World Food Program. A quarter of the population has fled the country. The U.S. and European Union imposed sanctions including freezing government assets and travel bans to show disapproval of Mugabe’s rule.
Bloomberg
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

NATO to deploy second anti-piracy mission off Somalia

NATO defense ministers have agreed to carry out another anti-piracy naval operation off the coast of Somalia, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer announced on Thursday. "You can expect to see another, what we call, Standing NATO Maritime Group off the coast of Somalia in the coming months, contributing to the overall international (anti-piracy) effort," he told a press conference at the NATO defense ministers' meeting. He said, however, details of the operation remain to be worked out. The ships will be from the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, which consists of six warships, he said. [...] NATO carried out its first anti-piracy mission off Somalia between October and December 2008. Four NATO warships were deployed, resulting in the safe delivery of 30,000 tons of humanitarian aid to Somalia by the World Food Program.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

NATO anti-piracy flotilla to sail in March

NATO's new anti-piracy flotilla will leave next month bound for the Horn of Africa where it will join an EU task force already patrolling the region, Germany's defense minister said Friday. Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung said Germany will contribute a frigate and a tanker to the six-vessel naval squadron. They will join the EU task force, code-named Operation Atalanta, which is the first naval action undertaken by the bloc. Other nations — including the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the U.S. — also have offered their warships to the anti-piracy force known as the Standing NATO Maritime Group I. [...] Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 and nearly half the population is dependent on aid. This is provided mainly by the U.N. World Food Program, whose chartered ships had repeatedly come under pirate attack before the original NATO flotilla arrived in November.
International Herald Tribune / AP
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

Japan inaugurates excellence center in Cotabato City

Japan will show anew its commitment to peace in Mindanao with the inauguration of a Project for Center for Excellence in Humanitarian Service in Cotabato City on Saturday. [...] Japan's assistance for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mindanao, who have been forced to evacuate since last August because of the conflict between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), includes the Grant Agreement signed last month to provide emergency food aid amounting to ¥860 million ($9.5 million), or 7,500 metric tons of rice, through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
GMA News TV
Hunger in the news
20 February 2009

Three UN Agencies Launch Joint Cash Assistance Program

On February 18, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) launched a joint cash assistance programme for people displaced during the August 2008 crisis in Georgia. Through a WFP led direct cash transfer system, short-term financial assistance will be provided to those who, due to the August conflict left their homes in the Tskhinvali, Java and Akhalgori districts as well as to the Kurta, Tikvi, Eredvi and Azhara communities and those who are currently registered at the Civil Registry Agency of Georgia.
Georgia Today
Hunger in the news
19 February 2009

U.N. Official Details Importance of Foreign Aid

“If you can change a simple meal, you can change a society,” Bettina Luescher, spokesperson for the U.N. World Food Programme said yesterday evening in Goldwin Smith Hall’s Kaufman Auditorium during a talk entitled “Global Food Crisis: A Hungry World and What We Can Do About It.” The lecture was funded by the FreeRice Initiative, a newly-established student organization dedicated to reducing world hunger. For over 40 years, the WFP has been on the frontline of providing food to victims of wars and natural disasters. Annually, over 100 million people in 77 countries are cared for, according to Luescher. During the talk, Luescher, a former CNN investigative journalist and award-winning reporter, shared her experience as an aid worker in Afghanistan, Indonesia and Darfur. In Afghanistan, the WFP offered extra rations of cooking oil to girls who would go to school.
Cornell Daily Sun

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