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
11 February 2009

Govt. doing everything possible to ease sufferings of IDPs – Bathuideen

The Commissioner General of Essential Services S. B. Divaratne yesterday said that though the ground situation did not permit a food convoy to reach civilians trapped by the LTTE amidst the heavy fighting, the Government is counting on the WFP to take a convoy to a safe zone in Suganthipuram area of Udayarkattu somehow this week. He said that despite the LTTE having heavily mined the area beyond Pudukudirruppu, President Mahinda Rajapaksa was extremely concerned that a WFP food convoy should be dispatched without delay.
The Island (Sri Lanka)
Hunger in the news
11 February 2009

Israel lifts Gaza total closure after elections

Israel on Wednesday lifted a full closure on Gaza Strip and opened all commercial crossing points before the delivery of limited aid and basic food stuff, Palestinian officials said. The blockade tightened Tuesday due to the Israeli elections. Ra'ed Fatouh of the crossings' coordination committee said that three crossings will be open Wednesday before aid trucks and fuel needed for running the only power plant in Gaza Strip. [...] "86 trucks will pass through Kerem Shalom crossing, 30 of them will go for the UNRWA and 22 for the World Food Program," Fatouh said.
Xinhua
Dossier: Food out of reach
11 February 2009

The Coming Food Coups

The doubling of grain prices over the past two years has already set off violent protests in over 30 developing countries and led to the overthrow of the Haitian prime minister Jacques Edouard Alexis. Even so, the potential political and security consequences have been given little attention, writes Andrew Natsios.
The Washington Quarterly
Hunger in the news
11 February 2009

Donors idle as drought, food shortage grips Kenya

Herds of animals pull in from all directions, kicking up clouds of dust beneath a baking sun as they converge on a concrete cylinder in the village of Wargadud, north-east Kenya. [...] Aid agencies say that up to 30 per cent of animal stocks in the wider area have perished, while the rest are producing little, if any, milk. "During the day, we don't eat," says Abdullahi Abdi Hussein, 65, the official in charge of the borehole. "We only have one meal a day, when we used to have three." [...] Aid agencies say it is only a matter of time before children and the elderly start perishing from hunger-related illnesses, particularly if the long rains, which generally arrive in March, also fail. "If people become malnourished, their immune system is depressed so they get sick for other reasons and that is what pushes them over the edge," says Peter Smerdon, a Nairobi-based spokesman for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
Reliefweb / Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Hunger in the news
11 February 2009

Glance at the crises facing Zimbabwe's unity gov't

While politicians have been at an impasse for nearly a year, Zimbabweans are caught in an intensifying economic and humanitarian nightmare. A glance at the crises they face: [...] HUNGER The U.N. food program says 7 million Zimbabweans — 80 percent of the population by some estimates — need food aid. Unemployment and spiraling prices have put food out of the reach of many Zimbabweans. Agriculture production has plummeted since Mugabe ordered an often violent land reform campaign in 2000 that saw farms go to his cronies instead of the poor blacks he has championed.
International Herald Tribune / AP
Hunger in the news
11 February 2009

Improving Nutrition in South Asia

The World Bank on Tuesday launched a competitive Development Marketplace for Nutrition aimed at finding and funding innovative ideas that will change lives of thousands of pregnant women, infants, and young children in South Asia. According to the bank statement issued here on Wednesday titled “Family and Community Approaches to Improving Infant and Young Child Nutrition,” the Development Marketplace is looking for entrepreneurial organizations across South Asia to submit proposals for local, small‑scale projects which have the potential to be scaled up and replicated. [...] The South Asia Regional Development Marketplace is implemented in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), Micronutrient Initiative, UNICEF, and the World Food Program.
Associated Press of Pakistan
Hunger in the news
11 February 2009

The great gamble

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of Zimbabwe’s opposition party, has taken a brave step. On Wednesday February 11th, more than ten months after success for his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections, Mr Tsvangirai became prime minister. In theory at least, he will share power with the man who swore him into office: President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980. [...] Zimbabwe, once one of the most prosperous countries in Africa, is in a dire state. Millions now depend on food aid; many are starving.
The Economist
Hunger in the news
11 February 2009

WFP food rations reach the hungry in Gaza

The World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed two-month rations to more than 222,000 people in Gaza since hostilities erupted there on Dec 27. The distribution of standard rations such as wheat flour, cooking oil and chickpeas and also one-off emergency packages including date bars, bread, high energy biscuits and canned goods had also benefited more than 150,000 people, according to a WFP statement.
Bernama
Hunger in the news
11 February 2009

Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Becomes Premier

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as prime minister, opening the way for the establishment of a coalition government with President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party. Tsvangirai’s appointment today may end a political crisis that erupted after disputed elections in March. [...] Zimbabwe is facing shortages of food, fuel and other basic commodities. At least 6.9 million Zimbabweans, or more than half of the population, need emergency food rations, according to the UN’s World Food Programme. A quarter of the population has fled the country.
Bloomberg
Nutrition
10 February 2009

Life and Entertainment - Nickie Wang: Saving children from hunger

While you are reading this article, somewhere in the world, two or three children might be dying or had just died. Based on the statistic of World Food Program, 18,000 children die each day because of starvation. That is one child after every five seconds. In an effort to combat hunger, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, both operated by Philippine Pizza Inc., donated over P1 million to the WFP on Jan. 29 in a ceremony held at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center. The amount was for the benefit of young children who are pitted in the war-stricken area of Mindanao. The event was graced by Philippine Pizza Inc. chief operating officer Lars Peterson, WFP country director and representative Stephen Anderson, and Social Welfare Department Assistant Secretary Theresa Alano. [...] WFP will use the donation to implement regular school-feeding activities that provide both a daily hot meal and a take- home family ration to 71,000 pupils in 427 schools in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato. “We are concentrating in Mindanao. We have always indicated that we could help the government to extend the program in a national setting. But for now, we don’t want to stretch ourselves so we could have a focus,” Anderson explained why WFP specifically indicated the people in Mindanao as the recipients of the donation.
Manila Standard Today

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