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
21 January 2009

Aid agencies supply essentials to Palestinians

Humanitarian aid agencies poured resources into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip on Tuesday, providing basic essentials to thousands of Palestinians in need of emergency aid after Israel's 22-day offensive in Gaza. Israel, which controls border entry points into Gaza, said it hoped to triple the number of trucks being allowed to deliver assistance to the coastal territory. [...] Dealing with the large number of amputees among the 5,300 injured is also a major priority. The World Food Programme, which provides emergency food assistance to Gaza's non-refugee population, estimated up to 365,000 Gazans are now in need of its help, up from 265,000 before. The group has 4,400 tonnes of food already in Gaza - including wheat flour, cooking oil, chickpeas and sugar - which is being distributed throughout the territory. "We are continuing with distributions and getting what we need across the border into Gaza," said spokesman Robin Lodge. "Next week we'll make a more detailed food security assessment, but at the moment we are making emergency deliveries, including to some of the 40,000 seeking shelter in U.N. compounds." He said Israel was cooperating with allowing food to flow into Gaza, and aid groups were coordinating their work. "Everything has been going very smoothly so far," he said.
Haaretz daily
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

Congo troops bar UN and aid staff

Congolese soldiers have been accused of barring UN troops and aid staff from an area where an operation with Rwandan troops is ongoing on a Hutu militia. A UN spokesman in the Democratic Republic of Congo told the BBC it was "deplorable", when so many displaced people were in desperate need of help.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

Hunger strike started to demand change in Zimbabwe

Activists launched a hunger strike Wednesday to demand faster political change in Zimbabwe and urge African leaders to isolate the country's president, Robert Mugabe, who is accused of overseeing its political and economic collapse. The South African and Zimbabwean activists also hope thousands in the region will join them in a series of fasts over the next three months. Mugabe and opposition factions ended 12 hours of talks Tuesday with no progress on a power-sharing deal signed last year. [...] The political standoff has kept Zimbabwe's leaders from addressing their country's economic collapse, which has led to a cholera epidemic and left millions of Zimbabweans depending on international food aid.
Washington Post / AP
Hunger in the news
21 January 2009

WFP, Unilever commend students of Bay View Academy

World Food Programme (WFP), food aid organisation of the United Nations, in collaboration with Unilever Pakistan Limited commended 10 students of the local school Bay View Academy for their unprecedented efforts in creating awareness and collecting goods for WFP's School Feeding Programme. The students were handed certificates in a ceremony on Monday honouring them with the title 'Agent against Hunger' by Wolfgang Herbinger, WFP Representative in Pakistan and Unilever, Marketing Director Foods.
Business Recorder
Food Security Analysis
20 January 2009

Power talks close to collapse as Mugabe refuses to back down

Power-sharing talks in Zimbabwe appeared close to final collapse last night as the two sides remained "miles apart" on details of a unity government. After nine months without a legal government, the shattered country now faces further political uncertainty to add to a cholera epidemic, famine and economic meltdown. [...] Political deadlock has prevented international donors from putting together a rescue package. The World Food Programme says there are shortfalls in January's feeding programme.
The Independent
Preventing Hunger
20 January 2009

UN endeavors to increase girls' enrollment in southern Nepal

United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations World Food Program (WFP) have announced a joint effort to increase Nepali girls' attendance in primary schools in five southern Terai districts where gender disparity rates are some of the highest. School enrollment of girls in these districts is far behind Nepal's national average where less than half of them complete primary education, said the joint press release issued on Tuesday. "Providing monthly-take home rations to girls is a powerful tool for increasing school attendance because it enables girls to help feed their families," said WFP Deputy Country Representative, Dominique Hyde, adding that this joint program will enhance how communities view the education of girls and provide them with a major incentive to send them to school regularly.
Xinhua
Aid professionals
20 January 2009

Kidnapped aid workers are 'alive'

The International Committee of the Red Cross has said that the three staff abducted by gunmen in the southern Philippines are alive and well. Telephone calls made by the three from Friday to Monday have confirmed they are still being kept together. But they also relayed a message from their abductors demanding that the military stop searching for them. The ICRC also quashed rumours that any ransom demand had been made, stressing the organisation does not pay ransoms.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
20 January 2009

'Dark day' as Zimbabwe talks fail

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have failed in their latest attempt to form a unity government. After 12 hours of talks, Mr Tsvangirai said it was "probably the darkest day of our lives" for his party. [...] Mr Mugabe said he intended talks with the MDC to continue ahead of a regional summit on Zimbabwe's crisis next week. [...] The political deadlock has exacerbated the problems facing Zimbabweans, from a cholera epidemic and an economic meltdown to food shortages and the collapse of basic services such as health and education.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
20 January 2009

Oro mayor lets out wrong info to UN?

[...] The World Food Programme, the United Nations humanitarian agency, is sending 630 tons of rice to help flood-stricken residents of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities and the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte. [...] [WFP deputy country director Alghassim Wurie] said the UN will send 1,747 bags of rice to feed some 17,638 families or 91,746 individuals in 47 of Cagayan de Oro's 80 barangays. Misamis Oriental, on the other hand, will receive 6,815 bags for its 14,105 families or 64, 719 persons affected by the disaster. Misamis Oriental briefed Wurie and the UN representatives about the damages using a Powerpoint presentation. Baicon Macaraya of the UNWFP Philipines, explaining the discrepancy, said they decided on the rice allotment based on "need and urgency." "There are homeless people in Misamis Oriental. We also determine their capacity to earn in the next few months," Macaraya told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro. UNWFP Country Director and Representative Stephen Anderson said humanitarian assistance should be given to farmers and fishermen who will bear the brunt of starvation in the lean months after the disaster.
Sun Star
Hunger in the news
20 January 2009

The times, they are a-changin’

[...] I have always wanted to be part of a historic social and political movement. [...] I decided that even though my birthday was about 40 years too late, I can still be a part of a movement to create change in this world. I took this dream to Washington and had the life-altering experience of interning with the United Nations World Food Programme, an organization dedicated to the fight against global hunger. [...] It wasn’t until after my internship with WFP ended that I was able to really appreciate the efforts of those I worked with – the individuals who made me realize that although the world hunger situation is complex, hope remains. People have the power to create a world where every person has access to adequate food and nutrition.
Indiana Daily Student

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