Hunger in the news

9 June 2009

For more than half a million farmers in rural India the age old fear of crops failing due to bad weather could soon be banished, thanks to an innovative insurance scheme that UN negotiators gathering in Bonn this week are considering as a central component of climate change adaptation measures in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

8 June 2009

To raise awareness and funds to feed schoolchildren worldwide, hundreds of people took part in “End Hunger: Walk The World” event here on Sunday. “About 50 million children go to school hungry everyday,” said Mihoko Tamamura, Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), who flagged off the walk on Richmond Road. Ms. Tamamura said that 850 million people were going hungry in early 2000 while the number rose to one billion in 2008. “There are two different issues that we need to deal with primarily — increasing food prices and the current financial crisis,” she said.

7 May 2009

The mid-day meal scheme has helped ward off hunger and keep children in school. But as rising malnourishment shows, a lot more needs to be done (...). According to a report, State of Food Insecurity in Rural India, jointly released by MS Swaminathan Foundation and the UN World Food Programme, India, one of the largest exporters of wheat, hosts 57 million — or more than a third of the world’s 146 million undernourished children.

13 April 2009

An emerging superpower, India paradoxically tops the global hunger chart with 230 million undernourished people comprising more than 27 per cent of the world’s undernourished population. Indicating that food insecurity is a reality in India a new report, State of Food Insecurity in Rural India, jointly released by the UN World Food Programme and MS Swaminathan Research Foundation, reveals that while every third adult (aged 15 to 49 years) has a low BMI at less than 18.5, as many as 43 per cent children aged below five are underweight. India fares no better vis-à-vis its emerging peers on the food security front as the vast majority of the world’s undernourished people — 907 million — live in developing countries, according to the 2007 data reported by the State of Food Insecurity in the World. Of these, 65 per cent live in seven countries: India, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia. On a comparative note, some countries in South-East Asia, like Thailand and Vietnam, have made good progress towards achieving the World Food Security target; others in South Asia and Central Asia have suffered setbacks in hunger reduction.

7 April 2009

It was a dew-drenched December morning. The winter was at its peak. The picturesque Rayagada town on the borders of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa was wearing a beautiful bridal look. Alluring greenery on the hills nearby, hordes of buffaloes and sheep feasting on the long-grown grass presented a picture perfect for a nature artist to capture it on the canvas. All this had no meaning for Sukru Himrika. He had no longer any hope to live in this pretty place where he was born 23 years ago. He decided to leave his home to feed his family. [...] According to Food Security Atlas published by the UN World Food Programme, the regional patterns of development in Orissa reveals that development has not spread and there have been pockets of underdevelopment. [...] Low levels of land development in the KBK region have resulted in poor performance on the agricultural front. There is very small area that can be cultivated twice in an agricultural year. This has resulted in a very low cropping intensity.

1 April 2009

Orissa Forest Mazdoor Union (OFMU) on Monday urged the [Indian] Government to introduce a food security scheme on the line of World Food Programme for bamboo cutters, who were leading a pathetic life. Submitting a memorandum to Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare, OFMU general secretary Dandapani Mohanty said there were about one lakh bamboo cutters, who were mostly landless and were languishing in poverty in the State. The WFP came to their rescue supplying food commodity to this forest dependent community through government agencies like Forest Department and every year nearly 10000 metric tonne of rice, pulses and edible oiled were being supplied to these poor families for last 20 years.

1 April 2009

A flagship government food subsidy scheme is failing and millions in India remain hungry despite years of economic boom, a UN report showed. The Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), meant to sell food essentials to India's poorest people at subsidized prices, has excluded large numbers because of poor data and lack of adequate definitions of hunger, the report said. About 20 per cent of the world's 1 billion hungry poor live in India. [...] "Apart from failing to serve the intended goal of reduction of food subsidies, the TPDS also led to greater food insecurity for large sections of the poor and the near-poor," the report, written by the UN World Food Programme and a think-tank, said.

13 March 2009

Small, sick, listless children have long been India’s scourge — “a national shame,” in the words of its prime minister, Manmohan Singh. But even after a decade of galloping economic growth, child malnutrition rates are worse here than in many sub-Saharan African countries, and they stand out as a paradox in a proud democracy. [...] A World Food Program report last month noted that India remained home to more than a fourth of the world’s hungry, 230 million people in all. It also found anemia to be on the rise among rural women of childbearing age in eight states across India. Indian women are often the last to eat in their homes and often unlikely to eat well or rest during pregnancy.

9 March 2009

The number of hungry people in India far outstrips those that live in any other country in the world, says the UN World Food Programme (WFP) report prepared jointly with the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation. Coming down heavily on the targeted public distribution system (TPDS) as a programme that has failed to serve intended goals, the report says it has only led to greater food insecurity for the poor. [...] Present approaches have patently failed in curbing malnutrition. Innovative strategies to tackle the problem must be put in place.

27 February 2009

India is failing its rural poor with 230 million people being undernourished — the highest for any country in the world. Malnutrition accounts for nearly 50% of child deaths in India as every third adult (aged 15-49 years) is reported to be thin (BMI less than 18.5). According to the latest report on the state of food insecurity in rural India, more than 1.5 million children are at risk of becoming malnourished because of rising global food prices. [...] Brought out by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the report points to some staggering figures. More than 27% of the world's undernourished population lives in India while 43% of children (under 5 years) in the country are underweight. The figure is among the highest in the world and is much higher than the global average of 25% and also higher than sub-Saharan Africa's figure of 28%.