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
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
Hunger in the news
16 January 2009

Slow ride in Atlanta, big pain in Mogadishu

A yellow taxi sits idle at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, leaving its Somali immigrant driver visibly frustrated. [...] Amid a financial crunch that has many of Hagi's customers feeling the pinch, fewer fares and mounting bills have not stopped him from sending a big chunk of his paycheck home to his family. [...] Hagi and his family are not alone. Figures from the United Nations put nearly half of Somalia's population in need of humanitarian assistance, according to a report released in September. One in six Somali children under the age of 5 are acutely malnourished, the report found, and food is getting more costly. [...] Pitched battles between an Islamic insurgency and Ethiopian-backed transitional government forces have left thousands dead and rendered what many have called a "failed state" now teetering on the brink of its worst humanitarian crisis in over a decade, according to a World Food Program report. The United Nations says "all information indicates that the key factors driving this humanitarian crisis will continue to worsen over the coming months."
CNN
Food Security Analysis
16 January 2009

Zimbabwe unveils $100-trillion note

Zimbabwe will introduce a Z$100-trillion note, in its latest attempt to keep pace with hyperinflation that has left its once-vibrant economy in tatters, state media said Friday. [...] Meanwhile, chronic shortages of food are starting to bite again this year, as rural households' supplies from last year's harvest are running out months before the new crops will be ready. The World Food Programme says five million people - nearly half the population - are dependent on food aid.
The Mercury
Preventing Hunger
16 January 2009

ZIMBABWE: Tsvangirai appeals for aid ahead of talks

Morgan Tsvangirai, embattled leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe's main opposition party, has urged humanitarian agencies to continue aid to the country, and announced plans to reopen negotiations with President Robert Mugabe. [...] The World Food Programme has predicted that 5.5 million people - half the population - will need food aid in the first quarter of 2009.
IRIN News
Hunger in the news
15 January 2009

Jean arrives in Haiti for second official visit

Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean began a visit to her native Haiti with the country reeling from a succession of natural disasters that have intensified an already painful food crisis. A string of hurricanes has wiped away crops in a country where 40 per cent of children already suffer from severe or moderate stunting because of malnutrition. Now the United Nations World Food Programme warns that it could run out of supplies for Haiti by March, as international donations have fallen far short of their targets.
The Canadian Press

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