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
18 February 2009

No one will die of hunger, says Kibaki

The Government will disburse adequate relief food to districts facing famine to ensure no one starves, President Kibaki has said. Kibaki said by declaring famine a national disaster, the Government had shown its commitment to provide food to those affected. [...] The World Food Programme (WFP) WFP announced it might need to almost triple the number of people it feeds from 1.2 million to 3.2 million. It is estimated that 10 million Kenyans are facing starvation. [...] WFP said it currently feeds 763,000 children at school, and is preparing to increase that number by an additional 850,000 children. "School feeding helps keep children in school during times of crisis because parents know at least they will be fed," WFP added.
The Standard
Hunger in the news
18 February 2009

Rice Growers Seek to Halt Falling Prices

A delegation from Thailand, the world's biggest rice exporter, is asking Vietnam to help it stabilize the tumbling price of rice -- the latest indication of how agricultural markets have changed in the months since riots over food costs gripped parts of the developing world. Industry experts aren't expecting any major price-fixing accords between the two countries, which together control about 45% of global rice exports. A Thai participant in this week's meetings in Vietnam, held with representatives of its rice industry, emphasized that the two countries are speaking only in general terms about how to keep prices from falling from current levels.
Wall street Journal
Dossier: Food out of reach
17 February 2009

U.N. says food production may fall 25 pct by 2050

Up to a quarter of global food production could be lost by 2050 due to the combined impact of climate change, land degradation and loss, water scarcity and species infestation, the United Nations said on Tuesday. The fall-off will strike just as 2 billion more people are added to the world's population, according to the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), which says cereal yields have stagnated worldwide and fish catches are declining. In a new report, it said a 100-year trend of falling food costs could be at an end and that last year's sharp price rises had driven 110 million people into poverty. Prices may have eased from those peaks in many areas, but experts say volatility -- combined with the impact of the global economic downturn -- has meant little respite for the poor.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
17 February 2009

Business big shot: Peter Bakker, Chief executive, TNT

Peter Bakker, the chief executive of the TNT postal group, issued a bleak forecast for his industry yesterday, warning, effectively, that things may never be the same again. “I do not look at this economic crisis as a temporary blip,” Mr Bakker, 47, said, as he announced a 37 per cent fall in fourth-quarter profits and declined to give an outlook for the year. [...] Mr Bakker joined the group in 1991, when it was called PTT Post, and was promoted to finance director of its parcels unit in 1993. He also served a stint as group finance director before being promoted to the top job in November 2001. He famously rubbed shoulders with Bono, whom he persuaded to address his colleagues in 2004, after striking a deal with the World Food Programme, in which TNT delivered food donations to starving people for free.
The Times (UK)
Hunger in the news
17 February 2009

Kufuor Returns Home

FORMER PRESIDENT John Agyekum Kufuor returned home Saturday night after a 10-day visit to Italy and the United Kingdom, where he accepted appointments to high offices of three international organizations. [...] While in Italy, former President Kufuor accepted an offer to serve as Global Ambassador on Hunger for the World Food Programme (WFP) of the UN. The offer was made by WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, on behalf of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki- Moon.
Daily Guide
Hunger in the news
17 February 2009

Africa: WFP Launches Operation to Avert High Food Prices

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it launched its first food voucher operation in Africa, deploying a new tool to address hunger in an urban environment where food is available, but beyond the reach of many because of high prices.
All Africa / Daily Monitor
Hunger in the news
17 February 2009

Nigeria: Proactive Approaches in Addressing Hunger and Diseases

Hunger and the global food crisis are but among hundreds maybe thousands of policy initiatives competing for time and space in the world agenda today just as man-made and natural disasters are competing for attention of policy makers. The risk is that the global economic crisis and the knee-jerk desire to pull inward will prove the conventional wisdom right that the world's 963 million hungry will get hungrier as the financial crisis works its way through the international system just as outbreak of disease and negative effects of climate change continue to wreck havocs across the continents. [...] The developed world that produced $1 trillion to rescue financial institutions in a few short weeks, could surely find $3 billion to feed the 59 million hungry children attending school worldwide, or the $6 billion to fund the work of the United Nations World Food Programme.
All Africa / Daily Trust
Hunger in the news
17 February 2009

Somali insurgents tell agencies to hand out food

Hardline Islamist insurgents in southern Somalia told international aid agencies on Tuesday to hand out all the food aid in their warehouses, or leave the Horn of Africa nation. Islamist al Shabaab rebels and allied groups control large swathes of southern and central Somalia while the government has little influence on the ground beyond a few blocks of the capital Mogadishu. [...] Hussein Abdi Gheddi, the governor of middle Jubba region in southern Somalia and a member of al Shabaab, told the World Food Programme (WFP) and World Vision to hand out their food. "We are telling them to leave the region, or else to distribute the food aid in the stores for the people in the region," Gheddi told Reuters by telephone from the town of Buale. Gunmen killed two WFP workers in January and the U.N. agency said on Tuesday it was seeking new security commitments from armed groups to conduct food distribution. "We are sending our teams around south, central Somalia asking for a security commitment that we will be allowed to operate and our staff will not be attacked," said WFP spokesman, Peter Smerdon, in neighbouring Kenya. "We will not risk the lives of our staff if armed groups don't give us such commitments," he said.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
17 February 2009

Govt faces big task to get total literacy

The government faces a great challenge in realising its election pledge of total literacy in the country by 2014 because of the heavy dropout of children from primary schools and acute shortage of teachers. [...] The government is able to supply new textbooks to only 60 per cent of the primary schools. Besides, the School Tiffin Programme, with support from the World Food Programme (WFP), covers only one per cent of total primary school students in the country. Experts say that the government will have to improve these situations if they are to make a headway towards their targets.
The Daily Star (Bangladesh)
Hunger in the news
17 February 2009

High malnutrition rates in slums “alarming”

With malnutrition rates as high as 25 percent in some areas, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is alarmed at the condition of children under five in Djibouti's slum areas. "This is a chronic but silent emergency," Georges Gonzales, the acting UNICEF representative in Djibouti, told IRIN. [...] Community-based organisations were also involved, being trained by UNICEF to work within the health system. These community groups, mostly women, do simple screenings to identify children with malnutrition symptoms and are trained to provide ready-to-use therapeutic food. "They are our first line of defence," said a medical official. In one of the health centres supported by UNICEF, with WFP and WHO and support from USAID, dozens of women with malnourished children come for feeding and screening, said Madina Ali, a doctor.
All Africa / IRIN

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