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

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
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

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