Hunger in the news

13 March 2009

A UN Security Council delegation is visiting the Haitian city of Gonaives to observe reconstruction efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Hanna six months ago. The BBC's Laura Trevelyan visits the storm-ravaged city, still struggling to recover. [...] The World Food Programme (WFP) has been building terraces up in the mountains, to catch the water should there be another hurricane. Gonaives could face similar problems again in the future Twelve thousand people have been working on the terraces, some paid in food. But now the funding for that programme has stopped, and so has the work. Jean-Pierre Mambounou of the WFP tells me: "Now we have stopped the work, the city is at risk. If we have another hurricane, we will be in trouble."

10 March 2009

Bill Clinton and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon are trying to refocus international attention on Haiti with a visit Monday they hope will lure more aid to keep the impoverished country from sliding back into chaos. The former U.S. president and the U.N. chief toured the run-down capital and were meeting with Haitian officials who have been struggling with high food prices and a devastating series of storms during a period of relative political calm in the Caribbean country. [...] The delegation that includes Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean stopped at a school in the capital's rough Cite Soleil neighborhood, once the site of violent clashes between gangs and U.N. peacekeepers, to view a food program for children. Clinton said he was pleased to see efforts such as the program, run by Jean's charity, Yele Haiti, and U.N. World Food Program.

16 February 2009

For two decades and more, Haiti, a land of grinding poverty, has endured coups, riots, a repressive military regime and hurricanes, travails that have often been overlooked beyond its borders. [...] In September 2004, heavy rains caused by Hurricane Jeanne led to severe flooding in Gonaïves, killing 2,800 residents. [...] The crisis in Gonaïves is far from over. By the end of last month, about 73,000 people in the city were still relying on food distributed by the United Nations World Food Program, according to Bettina Luescher, a spokeswoman for the program in New York.

10 February 2009

On February 5, Haitian president Rene Preval arrived in Washington carrying a desperate message in his pocket. In it, he requested emergency aid from the United States for as much as $100 million. [...] Without doubt, the crisis, which intensified at the onset of 2008 as food prices soared, was felt throughout the entire world. But the underdeveloped nations have been particularly vulnerable. In April 2008, the World Food Program admitted that it could not afford to purchase adequate volumes of food as the price of rice, for example, had more than doubled since March. International food donors are distributing more and more “therapeutic food” as a way to fight malnourishment. The ready-to-eat rations are made of milk, peanuts, and added nutrients and temporarily alleviate starvation. The problem with them, however, is that hungry people depend on these allotments that, in reality, do not resolve the core dilemma at hand.

Food Security Analysis
19 January 2009

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.

15 January 2009

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.