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
20 January 2009

UN chief's impact on Gaza truce

After seven hectic days in the Middle East, the UN chief is heading back to New York. Ban Ki-moon's aim when he left was to press for a ceasefire in Gaza, and call for humanitarian aid to be delivered to those in need. He returns with two ceasefires, and no Egyptian-negotiated truce agreement between Israel and Hamas. [...] In the end, Israel stuck to its own timetable of wrapping up the military offensive in Gaza - in time for the inauguration of US President Barack Obama. However Mr Ban did publicly call for Israel to call a unilateral ceasefire, it became clear to him that the Egyptian peace talks weren't reaching agreement on how to stop Hamas smuggling weapons into Gaza and how to re-open the border crossings into the strip to allow food and aid to get in. And Israel did call a unilateral ceasefire, so at the very least that was an astute reading of Israel's options by the softly spoken secretary general.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
19 January 2009

Star backs campaign to tackle hunger

Pop star Jamelia is backing a new campaign urging schoolchildren to help combat hunger in the developing world. The initiative will call on pupils across England to donate 10p each time they have a school lunch to provide some of the world's poorest children with a nutritious meal. [...] All of the money raised will go to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to fund school meals for children enrolled in their school feeding programmes in countries including Cambodia, Kenya and Guatemala. Last week Jamelia visited Nairobi to see the work of the WFP and where the money raised from the Really Good School Dinner programme will be spent.
The Yorkshire Post
Hunger in the news
19 January 2009

Haiti's storm emergency fades, but hunger remains

More than 150,000 people are surviving on donated food in the flood-battered city of Gonaives and the United Nations says more aid is urgently needed to stave off famine in parts of Haiti four months after ravaging storms. [...] What we are going to do now, from January onward, is to support the vulnerable people, to support the children so they keep growing healthy," U.N. World Food Program country director Myrta Kaulard said Thursday during a tour of affected areas. The WFP is asking countries to donate $100 million for Haiti, saying the organization's current funding will last only through February. It requested the same last year but received only $68 million.
Washington Post
Hunger in the news
19 January 2009

In Zimbabwe, Deal Likely to Fly or Fail This Week

Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, and its prime minister in waiting, Morgan Tsvangirai, have not agreed on much since they signed a deal four months ago to run the government together. But on Sunday they seemed to find common ground on at least one thing: their power-sharing deal will either come to fruition this week or collapse. [...] The consequences of the country’s political turmoil — and the absence of an undisputed government since March — have turned the country into a humanitarian disaster zone. A cholera epidemic brought on by the collapse of water, sanitation and health services still rages. More than 43,000 cases have been reported since August and almost 2,300 people have died. About half the population is now hungry and dependent on international food aid.
New York Times
Hunger in the news
19 January 2009

Kenya seeks $463 mln to feed hungry citizens

The Kenyan government on Friday launched an international appeal seeking 37 billion shillings (about 463 million U.S. dollars) to feed its hungry population as it has declared the famine situation in the country as a national disaster. [...] Currently, the Kenyan government and the World Food Program are feeding 1.4 million people under [an] emergency operation program. Another 1 million people are also fed through direct government interventions. However, Kibaki said these ongoing programs cannot absorb the sharp increase in numbers of needy people requiring relief food without additional resources.
Xinhua
Hunger in the news
19 January 2009

Fighting world hunger should be Obama priority: expert

Fighting hunger is the only way to stabilise the planet, leading economist Jeffrey Sachs said Monday, urging Barack Obama to reverse many of the policies carried out by his predecessor in the White House. "The United States cannot expect to be a safe and secure country if it is spending 0.16 of a percent of its gross national product on development assistance," Sachs told reporters. Sachs -- one of the most influential economists of the past decades and a special adviser to UN chief Ban Ki-moon -- was in Kenya to visit some of his development projects and support a government plan to counter looming famine. "Most of the crises around the world... are hungry places. We say these are ideological crises, but they are hunger crises. These are drylands wars, it starts with water, it goes to food supply and it goes to violence."
Agence France Presse (AFP) IC Publications
Responding to Emergencies
19 January 2009

Flood-hit Mindanao areas to get food aid

The United Nations' humanitarian relief arm, the World Food Programme (WFP), will start distributing food aid to flood-hit people in northern Mindanao and Lanao del Sur on Tuesday, an official said. Patricia Artadi-Facultad of the WFP Philippines office said the supply of some 630 metric tons of rice for about 25,000 families displaced by flood in the region has already arrived and were being prepared for handout. She said the first batch of food aid is slated to be distributed in Cagayan de Oro; Opol, Alubijid and El Salvador towns in Misamis Oriental; and Lanao del Sur areas. [...] Earlier, Stephen Anderson, WFP's Country Director and Representative in the Philippines, has said the agency is "concerned over the growing number of persons displaced by this natural disaster, some of whom are already vulnerable due to the conflict in the area." Anderson stressed that "the restoration of livelihoods of the affected people could take time."
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Food Security Analysis
19 January 2009

Hunger stalks Misamis Oriental

Now that the rains have somehow abated, Misamis Oriental officials fear that majority of the province's one million residents will face hunger in the aftermath of the recent devastating flash floods. "Our problem now is how our people will fare in the coming months. The next planting season is still months away. How will they survive in between those months," Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Norris Babiera told officials of the World Food Programme (WFP). [...] The World Food Programme, a United Nations humanitarian agency, has pledged to send 630 tons of rice that will be distributed to the two cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro and the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte, which were stricken by flash floods last week. WFP deputy country director Alghassim Wurie said 6,815 bags of rice will be given to 14,105 families or 64,719 persons affected by the disaster. Wurie said each of the families will receive 25 kilos of rice, but the amount is barely enough to see them through the lean months ahead.
Sun Star
Logistics
19 January 2009

NATO chief praises China's participation in anti-piracy campaign off Somalia

The NATO secretary general on Monday praised the Chinese navy's anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia and indicated NATO's willingness to work with China on the issue. [...] NATO deployed four warships off Somalia in October to escort World Food Program food shipments to Somalia and to patrol the seas to deter piracy. Its mission ended in December. But the alliance is considering a long-term strategy on the piracy issue and stands ready to consider further requests for the use of its naval assets in this regard.
Xinhua
Logistics
19 January 2009

UN assesses Gaza relief needs on first full day of halt to fighting

The United Nations has already started assessing the devastating damage and relief needs in the Gaza Strip on the first full day of a truce in fighting between Israel and Hamas, with the overall bill possibly reaching billions of U.S. dollars, amid a feeling of "overwhelming grief" among the 1.5 million inhabitants there, senior UN officials said on Monday. [...] The UN World Food Program (WFP) Lifeline Gaza, launched a week ago at Egypt's border with Gaza to raise awareness and resources for victims of the conflict, has already helped deliver urgently needed nutritious food in Khan (south), Der el Balah (centers) and Gaza City. Lifeline Gaza seeks 81 million U.S. dollars for food and logistics for 365,000 people in peril, said the officials.
Xinhua

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