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
19 January 2009

UN: Hundreds of millions needed for Gaza aid

Hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid will be needed immediately to help Gaza's 1.4 million people and billions of dollars will be required to rebuild its shattered buildings and infrastructure, the U.N. humanitarian chief said Monday. John Holmes said some neighborhoods have been almost totally destroyed, there are huge medical and food needs, sewage is flowing in some streets, and unexploded ordnance is posing a big problem.
Associated Press (AP) Washington Post
Food Security Analysis
18 January 2009

Wheat price remains high

Although the price of wheat has dropped almost 60 percent on the international level since early 2008, Yemeni importers and wholesalers are creating price hikes to increase their profits, say retailers. Last week, the price of wheat witnessed an unjustified increase. In two weeks, the price of a 50-kilo sack of wheat has increased from YR 4,200 to almost YR 6,000, four times its price in 2007. [...] In remote villages, the high price of food has led families to regularly skip meals and spend over two-thirds of their income on food, forcing some to pull children out of school because they cannot afford it, according to a recent assessment by the World Food Program.
The Yemen Times
Preventing Hunger
17 January 2009

North Korea Looks to Obama Administration for Food, Fuel Aid

A U.S. expert says North Korea is looking for "positive steps" from the Obama administration to improve relations between the two countries. North Korea may be signaling some of its priorities include heavy fuel oil and long-term food aid. [...] Earlier this month, the United States sent out a shipment of food to North Korea. The U.S. State Department said it would not stop food aid to the country, but also cited problems with North Korea not issuing visas for Korean-speaking U.N. World Food Program workers.
Voice of America News
17 January 2009

Rains won’t cease in flooded areas

The death toll in what meteorologists had described as an unusual weather phenomenon is rising as rains and floods continue to wreak havoc in Mindanao and parts of Visayas and Bicol. [...] The World Food Programme (WFP), responding to appeals for help from local governments, is to provide up to 630 tons of rice to help 25,000 families displaced by the Mindanao floods, the UN agency said in a statement Friday.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Hunger in the news
17 January 2009

UN sends 600 tons of rice

630 TONS of rice are being sent to Cagayan de Oro City and Misamis Oriental by World Food Program, the United Nations' humanitarian relief arm, to help ease hunger in flood-stricken areas. Patricia Artadi-Facultad of the UN World Food Programme (UNWFP), said the first convoy of trucks are expected to reach Cagayan de Oro Saturday from the agency's warehouse in Polloc, Cotabato. She said a shipment of rice will also be given to Iligan City and the province of Lanao del Norte where hundreds of residents were also affected by the flash floods. "The UN was prompted to extend rice assistance to the four areas after receiving a request from the respective local governments and the Department of Social Welfare and Development," UNWFP country director and representative Stephen Anderson said in a statement.
Sun Star
Logistics
17 January 2009

WFP food convoy leaves for Wanni

COLOMBO: The World Food Programme (WFP) has sent a convoy of food in 59 lorries to Wanni. The food was for distribution among the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the uncleared areas, WFP Country Representative Adnan Khan said. “The food convoy is to feed 230,000 IDP families and is expected to last for a week,” Khan said. The lorries carried 800 metric tonnes of mixed food like rice, wheat flour, dhal and oil, and would be distributed to IDP’s in the uncleared areas of Mullaithivu, he said.
South Asian Media Net
Hunger in the news
16 January 2009

ICRC fear for Sri Lanka civilians

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says that intense fighting in northern Sri Lanka has caused a "massive displacement" of civilians. It says thousands of people trapped inside rebel-held territory have had to flee several times in recent months. An ICRC official, Paul Castella, told the BBC that fighting had stopped relief supplies being delivered to rebel-held areas for nearly a week. He said that there were serious concerns about a lack of food. A Sri Lankan military spokesman insisted a supply convoy had been sent to the rebel-held territory and that there were adequate stocks of food.
BBC News
Hunger in the news
16 January 2009

Hunger stalks rural Zimbabwe as food aid dwindles

Maxmore Mhazo brightens as he talks about how food handouts from aid agencies have saved lives at his Zimbabwean village, but he is worried by the dwindling size of the portions. "Many of us would be dead were it not for these donations," the 74-year-old retired mine worker said as he and scores of others in Chirumanzu lined up for food packages distributed by British aid agency Oxfam and the World Food Programme (WFP). Each got 10 kg (22 lb) of maize, a pint of cooking oil and a bar of laundry soap, but that was less than they had received in the past three months because of the strain put on donors trying to fight Zimbabwe's multiplying problems. "We are doomed without this programme," Mhazo said at the village in central Zimbabwe. [...] An estimated five million Zimbabweans, about 40 percent of the population, are surviving on food aid. Donors expect that number to grow, but they are also diverting money from food aid to fight a cholera epidemic that has already killed over 2,100 people and their appeals for more funding are not being met in full. [...] The WFP, a U.N. agency, sounded the alarm this week when it announced that it was $65 million short of the $140 million it wanted to raise in an emergency food appeal for Zimbabwe.
Reuters
Nutrition
16 January 2009

Interview: Sarah Klonski, West Bank Coordinator, World Food Programme

Any peace plan for the Middle East has to address the hunger and poverty afflicting the Palestinian people, particularly the children. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is attempting to do this through school feeding initiatives in the West Bank and Gaza. School feeding not only fights hunger and malnutrition, but also boosts education. [...] In the West Bank, school feeding is under way with extremely promising results. In the following interview, we will look more closely at this program with Sarah Klonski, the West Bank Coordinator of the World Food Programme.
BlogCritics Magazine
Nutrition
16 January 2009

Northeastern Uganda faces acute food crisis

The Ugandan government and the UN World Food Program (WFP) on Friday announced that the northeastern part of the country is facing an acute food crisis that is likely to slip into famine if no urgent action is taken. Musa Ecweru, minister of state for disaster preparedness and relief, told reporters here that the situation is severe following massive crop failure and warned that the acute malnutrition levels are close to emergency. "When you reach Karamoja (northeastern region) you will see cases of malnutrition, the elderly are in dire need of support," he said flanked by Stanlake Samkange, WFP country director.
Xinhua

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