Hunger in the news

A daily selection of news reports from the world's media dealing with hunger and responses to it.
Subscribe


Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Over half of Zimbabweans need food aid: WFP

More than half of Zimbabwe's population, suffering under a severe economic and political crisis, will need food aid in February and March, the World Food Programme said on Thursday. The WFP said in a statement that it aims to assist 5.1 million people in February while a group of U.S.-sponsored aid organisations plans to assist 1.8 million more people in the southern African country. "The overall total for people in need of assistance in February and March is around 7 million," the WFP said. [...] Regional leaders decided at a summit on Tuesday that a unity government should be formed next month. Fears of the cholera spreading in Zimbabwe have stepped up pressure on rival parties to end the political uncertainty. [...] Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said he agreed to form a government with President Robert Mugabe although his Movement for Democratic Change voiced disappointment with the deal reached at the summit. MDC officials are expected to meet on Friday to discuss how to proceed.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Nearly 7 million Zimbabweans need food aid: UN

Zimbabwe's humanitarian disaster is far worse than anticipated with only six percent of the population formally employed and more than half in need of emergency food aid, a UN report said Thursday. Fewer than half a million Zimbabweans have jobs, while nearly seven million need emergency aid, UN agencies said in the latest stark illustration of the once-vibrant economy's collapse. The new grim estimate by the World Food Programme means that more than half of Zimbabwe's 12 million people do not have enough to eat, WFP regional spokesman Richard Lee told AFP. [...] "The economic situation has worsened more dramatically than we had anticipated," Lee said. The crisis has deteriorated so quickly that the agency is being forced to halve the cereal rations given to hungry Zimbabweans so that all the people in need can receive aid, he added. The WFP now plans to feed 5.1 million people, while other agencies will feed an additional 1.8 million people, Lee said.
Agence France Presse (AFP)
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Half of Zimbabweans need food aid

More than half of Zimbabwe's population will need food aid in February and March, the World Food Programme has said. The WFP said in a statement that it aims to assist 5.1 million people in February while a group of aid organisations plans to assist 1.8 million more in the southern African country. "The overall total for people in need of assistance in February and March is around 7 million," the WFP said.
ITV News
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Liberia faces second worm wave

The UN has warned Liberia could soon face a second wave of crop-destroying armyworms as the pests reproduce. Liberia's President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf declared a state of emergency this week and appealed for international aid to fight the insects. Some 400,000 residents in 100 villages have been affected by tens of millions of the insects, the UN says. The worms - which are actually caterpillars - are among the world's most destructive agricultural pests.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Press conference on Gaza situation

Joining the chorus of United Nations officials calling for the uninterrupted opening of border crossings into the Gaza Strip, the World Food Programme's (WFP) Regional Director for the Middle East today said that meeting the immediate needs of Palestinians left traumatized and homeless by Israel's three-week war with Hamas required the free flow of not just emergency food, but fuel, medicines and necessary building supplies. World Food Programme's Daly Belgasmi, whose responsibility also includes Central Asia and Eastern Europe, told correspondents during a Headquarters press conference that the sporadic border closings were only adding to the challenges the agency faced as Operation Lifeline Gaza scaled up deliveries of nutrition-fortified date bars, ready-to-eat meals for hospitals and schools, as well as sugar, wheat flour and vegetable oil.
Reliefweb
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Press conference on Gaza situation by World Food Programme official

Joining the chorus of United Nations officials calling for the uninterrupted opening of border crossings into the Gaza Strip, the World Food Programme's (WFP) Regional Director for the Middle East today said that meeting the immediate needs of Palestinians left traumatized and homeless by Israel's three-week war with Hamas required the free flow of not just emergency food, but fuel, medicines and necessary building supplies. World Food Programme's Daly Belgasmi, whose responsibility also includes Central Asia and Eastern Europe, told correspondents during a Headquarters press conference that the sporadic border closings were only adding to the challenges the agency faced as Operation Lifeline Gaza scaled up deliveries of nutrition-fortified date bars, ready-to-eat meals for hospitals and schools, as well as sugar, wheat flour and vegetable oil.
Reliefweb
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Sweden to send naval vessels to Somalia

The Government decided today to request the permission of the Riksdag to place Swedish armed forces at the disposal of the EU maritime operation off the coast of Somalia, Operation Atalanta. Operation Atalanta was launched in December 2008 and is intended to protect deliveries of humanitarian aid from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and to deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast. The operation, which is clearly grounded in international law through the Law of the Sea, has a mandate from the United Nations Security Council and is taking place at the invitation of the Transitional Government of Somalia.
Reliefweb
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

UN launches $613m appeal for Gaza

The UN has launched an appeal for $613m to help people affected by Israel's military offensive in Gaza. "These needs are massive and multi-faceted," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the World Economic Forum in Davos. He added that funds would be used to "help overcome at least some measures of this hardship". In the region itself, US envoy George Mitchell said the Palestinian Authority should play a part in cementing the Gaza Strip's shaky truce.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

YouTube boss in demand, some slip on Putin title

Sean Penn is here on screen if not in the flesh. Penn is appearing in a public service message for the U.N. food agency previewing this week at the World Economic Forum urging people not to forget the needy during the global financial crisis. The ad shows Penn unrolling rolls of dollar bills that create a graph showing how little it would cost to feed every hungry schoolchild for a year. "What some people don't realize is that for the world's hungry the financial crisis is hitting them hard," World Food Program chief Josette Sheeran said. Sheeran asks that governments donate a small fraction of their stimulus packages to help the poor.
International Herald Tribune
Hunger in the news
29 January 2009

Zimbabwe Government to Deal in Foreign Currencies

Zimbabwe's government admitted defeat Thursday in a fight against dizzying inflation, allowing business to be done in U.S. dollars and bank notes of neighboring countries. Zimbabwe has the world's highest official inflation, with its currency now printed in the trillions of dollars. This month, the central bank introduced a new 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar note. The announcement by acting Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa acknowledged the black market practices that have been a reality for months because of Zimbabwe's economic meltdown. [...] Zimbabwe has been nearly paralyzed by the crisis precipitated by disputed presidential elections last year. Politicians agreed to a coalition government in September but for months have been unable to agree how to share Cabinet posts. The impasse has stranded Zimbabweans in a prolonged economic crisis, with hospitals, schools and sanitation infrastructure left to collapse. The U.N. food program said Thursday that 7 million Zimbabweans -- 80 percent of the population by some estimates -- need food aid.
New York Times / AP

Video

Fighting Hunger Worldwide