Updated: 2 hours 15 min ago
Around 16 million people are at risk of going hungry across Africa's Sahel belt next year due to conflicts and rapid population growth, even though the region expects good harvests and rainfall, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday. Violence in northern Nigeria, northern Mali and the Central African Republic combined with high fertility rates have fueled food shortages and high food prices across the savannah region. In Niger alone, the fertility rate is 7.6 children per mother.
UN agencies are racing to offer assistance to civilians and refugees of the Central African Republic (CAR) as incessant looting and riots have stirred fears that the battered country is inching toward the verge of collapse, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.(..) The World Food Programme (WFP) also joined the relief action, saying it is providing food assistance to people displaced in Bangui and Bossangoa, to the north of Bangui.
The United Nations' first relief airlift to Syria from Iraq will deliver food and winter supplies to the mostly Kurdish northeast over the next 10 days with the permission of both governments, U.N. aid agencies said on Tuesday. Elisabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP), later said that it also planned 10 rotations over the next 10 days in an operation aimed at feeding more than 30,000 people for a month. Its first flight would carry 40 metric tonnes of food, including wheat flour, pasta, oil, sugar, salt, rice, canned beans and bulgur wheat, she said.
The Syrian children of the Kilis refugee camp: ‘We tell them not to worry, it’s far away, but they get scared’
Syrian state television says the country's local and international telephone lines as well as the internet are down because of technical problems. Meanwhile the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW has said that the removal of chemical weapons from Syria may be delayed slightly due to the difficulties of operating during a civil war.
About 16,900 Capiceño families will receive packs of 15 kilograms of rice donated by the World Food Program (WFP) in view of supertyphoon Yolanda’s devastation in the province. WFP is among the various international organizations and United Nations agencies who helped Capiceños and other typhoon victims in the Visayas region in the emergency and response as well as in the ongoing early recovery and reconstruction stage.
World cereal production will reach a new high of almost 2,500 million tonnes, including rice in milled terms, according to new FAO estimates. The figure is almost 8.4 percent more than last year and some 6 percent above the previous record in 2011, according to the latest issue of the Crop Prospects and Food Situation Report. While global cereal production is expected to increase, FAO warned that food security conditions in several parts of Africa and elsewhere are deteriorating.
The United Nations says a weaker economic performance and rising food costs are slowing poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean. The annual report from the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or ECLAC, says 164 million people, or 28 percent of the region's population, are still considered poor, with 68 million living in extreme poverty. That is nearly unchanged from last year.
The UN Security Council resolution, which was approved on Thursday (05.12.2013), is aimed at restoring security and protecting civilians in the Central African Republic. Most aid organizations have pulled out of the region, because they fear for the safety of their staff. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by the violence and many have been living in the bush for weeks. The World Food Program warned recently that more than a million people in CAR are not getting enough to eat. That is a quarter of the country's population.
The United Kingdom has contributed US$22 million (K8.4 billion) to the United Nations World Food Programme to assist Malawian families who are unable to meet their basic food needs. The contribution will enable WFP to provide food assistance to some 910 000 people for several months of the ‘lean season’ between now and March when the next harvest is due according to a press statement from UKaid and WFP dated December 6 2013. “This contribution from the UK will enable us to provide both food and cash transfers,” says WFP Country Director Coco Ushiyama.
World food prices were little changed in November as falling prices for grain and sugar partially compensated for a jump in the cost of cooking oils, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said.
Nearly one month after Super Typhoon Yolanda, generous donations and support for typhoon victims have still not ceased. (..)The National Food Authority (NFA), for its part, issued 713,307 bags of rice to agencies conducting relief operations for victims of calamities across the country. Most of the rice stocks, or 597,707 bags, were given to Yolanda victims and were coursed through the DSWD, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Philippine Red Cross, local government units, the World Food Program, and private charitable institutions.
The most urgent needs are food aid, temporary shelter, clean water and improved hygiene. In support of the Government of the Philippines response effort, these needs are being met with the help of international and local aid organizations. In addition, The Philippines government, working with USAID partner WFP, has provided 2.5 million food parcels to those in need. These food parcels include rice that was purchased locally by WFP with funding from USAID.
Food aid is being cut back in Congo due to lack of funding that could affect hundreds of thousands of hungry people, the World Food Program said Tuesday. Because of a lack of contributions to help feed the country, the WFP "is being forced to start a significant down-scale of activities in the provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu, Equateur, Kasai and Orientale," said agency spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, adding that cutbacks will affect school children, refugees and people in Food-for-Work programs.
Aid workers said they have a better winter plan this year. Cranes are lifting trailers into place and tents are being packed away as international aid workers rush to winterize a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan — trying to avoid a repeat of last year when three days of torrential rain turned the massive site into a muddy swamp.
Speaking to reporters after a closed briefing for Security Council diplomats, the official — Valerie Amos, the under secretary general and emergency relief coordinator — said that the Syrian authorities had been permitting aid convoys from Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, but had refused to allow any from Turkey, which the Syrian government has accused of abetting the insurgency.
Philippine rice output is likely to grow 4 percent annually over the next three years, falling short of the rate needed to reach self-sufficiency in the grain due to a "new normal" of stronger typhoons, a senior farm official said on Monday. The Southeast Asian country may need to import as much as 2 million tonnes of rice in 2014, its largest intake in four years, as it failed to meet growth targets because of two strong typhoons this year, according to traders and farming experts.
Just four weeks after super Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines, the United Nations and its partners, with the Government’s guidance, are making significant strides in helping the country recover and build back sustainably, a UN development official said today. “The way forward for the UN team in the Philippines is to continue working with partners and the Government to build back stronger, making communities more resilient and sustainable,” said Haoliang Xu, Assistant Administrator and Director, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, at the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
Proper food and good nutrition can keep people living with HIV healthy and improve the effectiveness of their treatment, Executive Director of the World Food programme Ertharin Cousin said in a message marking World AIDS Day, observed Sunday 1 December. She said on World AIDS this year, the World Food Programme (WFP) is proud to play a role in the tremendous progress made in the battle against HIV/AIDS in recent years.
The government intends to seek more foreign grants and aid for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of towns and cities devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda. It is scheduling before the end of the year a donor pledging session where multilateral agencies like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and foreign governments would be invited, according to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad. “This will allow us to get more loans and grants,” he said. The UN World Food Program delivered 18 mobile storage units last week to Tacloban to increase warehouse space for relief goods.
The situation in Somalia has improved, and while it is still early, already some are making the decision to venture back. (..) But the fact remains that half a million refugees are currently living in the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya, and they continue to require the same things they needed two years ago: shelter, food, water and safety. (..) Facing a shortage of funding, on November 1, WFP was forced to reduce food rations for refugees in Kenya by 20 percent. If these cuts must be long-lasting or expanded, it could slow or even reverse the refugees' recovery, and endanger their health all over again.