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
28 January 2009

Japan donates P455-M for Mindanao food aid

The Japanese government on Wednesday said it will contribute P455 million to the World Food Programme in the Philippines to purchase rice for residents affected by recent hostilities in Mindanao. The food aid was announced during a signing ceremony of a grant agreement between the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the UN World Food Programme on Wednesday. The JICA Grant Agreement formalizes the support of Japan to conflicted-affected populations in Mindanao whose needs have increased following the upsurge in conflict in August 2008. WFP Country Director Stephen Anderson said the contribution is the third from Japan to the WFP in the Philippines. "The World Food Programme is extremely grateful to the government of Japan for its generosity. This donation will play a critical role in complementing longer-term initiatives in Mindanao by providing immediate and direct food assistance to conflict-affected households, thus building their stake in the peace process," he said in a statement.
ABS-CBN News
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

Burma's 'abused Chin need help'

The US group Human Rights Watch has called for better protection of the Chins, one of Burma's least known and most persecuted minorities. Ill-treatment of many ethnic minorities by the Burmese military has been extensively documented by international human rights groups. But Human Rights Watch say there has been little attention given to the plight of the Chins. [...] Their plight is compounded by acute food shortages - the UN's World Food Programme estimates that food consumption in Chin state is the lowest in Burma.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

UN: Myanmar faces food crisis because of cyclone

Myanmar faces food shortages in many parts of the country, largely because of last year's cyclone and a rat infestation that destroyed crops, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday. About 185,000 tons of emergency food aid will be needed this year throughout the impoverished country, said the report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Program. [...] "Access to food remains the critical challenge for the poorest people and for vulnerable populations in remote areas of Myanmar," said Chris Kaye, WFP's representative for Myanmar. "For many of those affected by Cyclone Nargis, who are engaged in rebuilding their lives and livelihoods, the limited delta harvest means they will continue to rely on assistance to meet their food needs."
Washington Post / AP
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

Who will rebuild Gaza?

Even as aid agencies struggle to meet the immediate needs of those left injured, homeless and traumatised by the Israeli operation in Gaza, concerns are growing that reconstruction efforts could become bogged down in a complex political tangle. Initial Palestinian estimates said rebuilding would cost $2bn (£1.4bn) and take three to five years, even without the host of obstacles Gaza faces. [...] UN relief agency Unrwa says it has contacts with Hamas "even at ministerial level", but strictly on technical issues related to the delivery of its humanitarian services in line with wider UN policy. And the distribution of some World Food Programme aid is carried out by Hamas - albeit with strict monitoring in place to ensure it reaches the people it is intended for. "In every country that we work in, we deal with the authorities - so in Gaza we deal with the Ministry of Social Affairs. "If the next question is 'Are they Hamas?', then the answer is 'Yes they are'," says spokesman Robin Lodge.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

'LTTE prevented' evacuating wounded

UN Says that they will attempt to evacuate a convoy of critically Injured From Puthukkudiyiruppuri to Vavunia. On Tuesday, the government said the covoy of over two hundred patients were stopped by the Tamil Tigers. [...] Military statement also said that the ICRC and UN officials contacting military authorities have reported that those patients on sixteen ambulances, seven World Food Programme (WFP) trucks and another vehicle were being held, detained and prevented from entering cleared areas by gun-carrying LTTE men who have had heated arguments with ICRC and UN officials over non-release.
BBC Sinhala
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

'Six million Burmese need food'

The United Nations has warned of acute food shortages in parts of Burma, despite a better than expected rice harvest over the past year. Its World Food Programme has issued a report warning that six million people in Burma are now in need of food aid. They include a million in the Irrawaddy Delta, hit by Cyclone Nargis last year. But the WFP says it cannot get enough food aid to the western Rohingya and Chin areas, because of restrictions imposed by the military government. The United Nations has warned of acute food shortages in parts of Burma, despite a better than expected rice harvest over the past year. Its World Food Programme has issued a report warning that six million people in Burma are now in need of food aid. They include a million in the Irrawaddy Delta, hit by Cyclone Nargis last year. But the WFP says it cannot get enough food aid to the western Rohingya and Chin areas, because of restrictions imposed by the military government.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

Cindy McCain resumes international aid work

Cindy McCain, the wife of the former Republican presidential candidate, resumed her international aid work this week with a stop in Dubai on her way to India and Cambodia to volunteer at maternity hospitals. [...] On Tuesday, she toured the World Food Program's warehouse in this Gulf city-state and on Wednesday she gave an interview to Al-Arabiya _ the pan-Arab satellite television network that Barack Obama gave his first formal TV interview to as president.
Washington Post / AP
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

Japan allots aid for people displaced by fighting in RP: UN agency

Japan has extended an 860 million-yen (9.6 million-dollar) grant to help feed tens of thousands of people displaced by a Muslim separatist conflict in the southern Philippines, a UN aid agency said Wednesday. The Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Food Programme (WFP) signed the grant agreement at the UN agency's Rome headquarters on Friday, the programme's Philippine office said in a statement. [...] The WFP and other groups say at least 100,000 civilians had been unable to return to their homes and farms in Mindanao, the homeland of a large Islamic minority, and needed long-term food rations.
ABS-CBN News
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

Somalia: UN Meeting Seeks to Strengthen Battle Against Pirates

Regional States, countries patrolling the pirate-infested waters off Somalia, and United Nations agencies are set to adopt an agreement this week to reinforce the fight against a scourge that has seen dozens of ships held for ransom in recent years, including vessels carrying UN food aid for millions of hungry Somalis. [...] Transport ministers and ambassadors of regional countries, States that have sent naval forces to protect shipping, including China, France, Italy, Japan, Russia and United Kingdom, and officials of international organizations cooperating with IMO, including the UN World Food Programme (WFP) are attending the meeting.
All Africa
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

Somalia: WFP Delegation Visits Islamist Rulers in Hiran Region

A delegation from the UN's World Food Program visited a provincial capital in central Somalia for the first time Wednesday since Islamists returned to power, Radio Garowe reports. The four-member delegation was led by Ms. Denise Brown, the WFP deputy country director for Somalia. [...] Sources close to the discussions told Radio Garowe that the WFP officers expressed concern about targeted killings and the safety of aid workers, while noting that humanitarian efforts will continue in the region.
All Africa / Garowe Online

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