Hunger in the news
23 January 2009
The U.N's World Food Programme said on Friday it had bought a record 552,000 metric tonnes of food in southern Africa in 2008, enough to provide nearly 2.75 million people with a full food basket for a year. The food agency spent $190 million last year buying cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, corn-soya blend, salt and sugar in seven countries across the region. The previous record was set in 2005, when WFP bought just over 500,000 metric tonnes in southern Africa for $100 million, illustrating the jump in the price of staple foods, it said. The bulk of the food was bought in South Africa, where WFP purchased 430,000 metric tonnes at a cost of $141 million. While most of the food was distributed to vulnerable people in southern Africa, WFP used substantial quantities to assist hungry people in emergency situations, including Somalia, Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Senegal.
Polity (South Africa) / Reuters