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

'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
Hunger in the news
28 January 2009

UNICEF feels the pinch of the food price crisis

As Ethiopia struggled with high food prices and a lack of relief aid in 2008, the UN children's agency, UNICEF, initiated one of the biggest responses to fight severe malnutrition ever undertaken. [...] "The global demand for ready-to-use therapeutic food outstripped supply last year, which gives the sense of the scale of the need," explained Louis-Georges Arsenault, director of UNICEF's emergency programmes. The agency has had to intensify its nutritional interventions in 17 of the 27 countries identified as worst affected by the global food price crisis. This year UNICEF is asking for just over US$1 billion in its new global appeal, of which health and nutrition needs will take the biggest portion – 38 percent - to care for women and children in only 36 countries, "and UNICEF runs operations in 150 countries," Arsenault noted.
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
27 January 2009

UN rushing aid to trapped civilians in Sri Lanka's Northern war zone

The UN and international aid agencies, that are rushing assistance to over 250,000 civilians trapped in war-ridden northern Sri Lanka, have asked all sides in the conflict to ensure that people are treated according to international humanitarian law. The recent surge in fighting between the government forces and the LTTE has prompted warnings from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and other UN officials about the humanitarian impact of the conflict on the people of Sri Lanka. [...] Since early October, some 519 trucks have transported over 8,000 tons of food from the UN World Food Programme (WFP), as well as water and sanitation materials, school supplies, clothing and household goods supplied by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and UNHCR.
The Hindu
Hunger in the news
27 January 2009

UN says Congolese refugees fleeing to South Sudan

Thousands of Congolese civilians have fled across the border to South Sudan to escape rebels of the Lord's Resistance Army, the U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday. About 2,000 left northeastern Congo for the Sudanese village of Lasu last week alone, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said. Thousands more Congolese are already living in South Sudan, having fled their villages for fear of attacks by the rebels Uganda-based rebel group, Ron Redmond told reporters in Geneva. The population in South Sudan is unable to support all the refugees, so the World Food Program plans to deliver emergency rations to the area, Redmond said.
Associated Press (AP)
Hunger in the news
27 January 2009

Thousands of Gazans remain homeless as UN again calls for aid access

Thousands of Gazans remain homeless and hospitals still have a large number of intensive care patients over a week after a ceasefire ended Israel's devastating three-week offensive, according to the latest United Nations update, which calls for immediate unhindered humanitarian access to the Strip's 1.5 million inhabitants. [...] All 10 UNRWA distribution centres are open, feeding 25,000 people per day, and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed 95 tonnes of food aid to 993 families (nearly 6,000 people) in Gaza City and North Gaza.
Emirates News Agency (WAM)

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