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
22 January 2009

Humanitarian Aid Fills in Gaza’s Tunnel Gap

[...] More than 37,000 tons of staple foodstuff and emergency medical supplies entered the Gaza Strip through one Israeli crossing from the time Israel began its military offensive until it declared a unilateral cease-fire on January 17. [...] The main problem of getting supplies into Gaza during the operation was not a lack of will or resources, but a limited capacity of passage, Robin Lodge, a spokesman for the World Food Programme told TML. “When the crisis began there were between 20 and 30 trucks going though Kerem Shalom a day, and now that’s up to 90 with a maximum capacity of 120, but it’s still not enough,” Lodge said while the operation was ongoing. The WFP provided basic rations that include wheat flour, vegetable oil, split peas and sugar to around 135,000 non-refugee Gazans, totaling more than 3,700 tons. Lodge said the WFP was already backlogged before the operation began, because of the blockade that did not allow it to bring in all its supplies. [...] The organization is planning a month-long distribution of ready-to-eat food, on top of its regular rations, which will include nutritious date-bars manufactured in Egypt.
The Media Line
Hunger in the news
22 January 2009

WFP halts food shipments to Somalia

The World Food Programme has halted its food shipments to Somalia in a high-stakes attempt to press local warlords to rein in violence that has killed two of its employees this month. Peter Goossens, Somalia country director of the United Nations agency, said the WFP would distribute the food left in its Somali warehouses but he warned that it would run out by early March if it was not replenished by fresh shipments. He said the WFP would only reopen its “pipeline” – a reference to the sea and land routes through which it ships food from the Kenyan port of Mombassa – when it had received security guarantees from local administrations, warlords and armed militias that control the areas where it operates. It is a high-risk move for the agency because the difficulty of pacifying highly fragmented armed groups is one reason why Somalia has become a lawless and destitute failed state since its central government collapsed in 1991.
Financial Times
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

Big Jump in Food Prices the Latest Suggestion That Inflation is Much Higher Than the Government Says

Prices for food in U.S. grocery stores jumped 6.6% last year - the biggest spike since 1980 - underscoring yet again that inflation is a much bigger problem than government officials, or most economists, say it will be. [...] The problems emanating from the big increase in food and commodities prices weren’t limited to the United States, either. In April, the leader of the United Nation’s World Food Programme warned that a "silent tsunami" of hunger was sweeping the globe because of soaring food prices, a situation that threatened the well-being of an estimated 20 million children in the world’s most poverty-stricken areas. At that time, food prices had risen 83% in the previous three years, and rice - a staple of daily diets throughout Asia - had actually doubled in price in the prior five weeks.
Money Morning
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

Money can't buy love for Man City

Once again, those four lads from Liverpool were right: Money can't buy me love. Just ask Manchester City. Its world-record 100 million pound ($147 million; €111 million) bid for Kaka couldn't make the Brazilian midfielder part with his conscience and AC Milan. [...] In UNICEF's hands, the wad that City was offering for Kaka's sublime football skills would fund 20 million family-sized mosquito nets for sub-Saharan Africans, who lose 800,000 children under age five to malaria each year. Or buy roughly 588 million meals for the World Food Program. As one of its Ambassadors Against Hunger, Kaka lends his fame to the WFP's battle against the more than 10 million deaths from causes related to malnutrition each year.
Associated Press (AP) Fox Sports
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

Ireland appoints global 'hunger envoy'

Ireland has appointed a veteran food-aid official to be its first "hunger envoy" to fight famine worldwide. Foreign Minister Micheal Martin says Kevin Farrell's appointment Wednesday reflects Ireland's own experience of suffering mass starvation in the mid-19th century. Ireland's Hunger Task Force had recommended creating the new position in a report last year to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The panel includes rock icon Bono and Farrell. Farrell's new job will be to spearhead Irish efforts to meet the U.N. goal of halving world malnutrition by 2015. Previously Farrell has overseen aid projects in Bangladesh, Iraq, Somalia, Uganda and most recently as U.N. World Food Program director in Zimbabwe.
Associated Press (AP)
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

UN, NGOs send tons of food to flood-hit Mindanao

The United Nations and non-government organizations on Tuesday sent hundreds of tons of food items to flood-hit areas in Northern Mindanao, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines said Tuesday. An article on the CBCP website said the first installment of help from the UN humanitarian relief arm World Food Programme (WFP), mostly rice, started arriving at depots in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities. [...] Patricia Artadi-Facultad of the World Food Programme-Philippines said the initial 630 metric tons of rice will meet the rice needs for one month of at least 25,000 families. "WFP fully understands that the situation remains fluid, and we will continue to work closely with government and NGOs on the ground to further assess and adjust our response accordingly," said WFP country director and Philippine representative Stephen Anderson.
GMA News TV
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

Zimbabwe farm output to continue sharp fall: union

Zimbabwe faces another huge food deficit in 2009 due to continued falls in farm production, mounting political uncertainty and economic instability, a report by a farmers' union said on Wednesday. [...] Donor agencies say more than 5 million Zimbabweans, almost half the population, currently rely on food handouts and expect the number to rise following another poor agricultural season. The United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) says its $140 million emergency food aid appeal for Zimbabwe has come up $65 million short.
Reuters
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

Symposium: Hopes for the Obama Presidency

[...] Feed the Hungry By George McGovern [...] Here is something I wish President Obama would do: Substantially increase our contribution to the U.N. World Food Program, which administers an international school lunch program. The aim of this program is to provide a good, nutritious school lunch every day for every hungry, school-age child, beginning with the poorest countries.
Wall street Journal
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

'261 aid convoys dispatched to Gaza since onset of attacks’

The Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO) has dispatched 261 aid convoys to the Gaza Strip since the Israeli attacks against the coastal enclave started December 27, a JHCO official said on Tuesday. [...] In addition, a military aeroplane carrying 10,000 ready meals for the Palestinians in Gaza flew to El Arish Airport in Egypt upon His Majesty King Abdullah’s directives. The food shipment is the fourth batch of 80,000 ready meals that will be distributed in coordination with the UN World Food Programme.
The Jordan Times
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

AFP claims NGOs slowing down food aid

A military official claimed on Wednesday that non-government organizations and other aid groups are considering "slowing down" the delivery of food to conflict-ridden areas of Mindanao following reports some of the assistance allegedly found its way into rebel hands. But the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) denied any such plan. [...] Stephen Anderson, WFP country director for the Philippines, said: "That's news to me. I would like to see more context in that statement, otherwise, I don't want to comment further. I need more details to react to that." Anderson said they "don't have the plan to slow down" food delivery. In fact, "We are sustaining food support in response to the continuing needs on the ground," he said.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

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