Hunger in the news

16 May 2013

Ertharin Cousin, of the World Food Programme expressed her concern as the money pledged so far is only a quarter of what the nation is looking for.
“The challenge is that there are 300,000 people who are still internally displaced from the north living in the south of Mali, there another in the 175000 living in the surrounding countries and today we are also feeding another 700,000 who are entire need of food assistance.”

18 April 2013

The continuing conflict in Mali combined with the country’s impending “lean season” is threatening to aggravate hunger in the Sahelian nation, the United Nations food aid agency warned today, adding that it was “urgently working” with partner organizations to help affected families, particularly in the country’s North. “I was able to go to Timbuktu last week and I saw how critical the humanitarian situation really is,” Sally Haydock, Country Director in Mali.(..) Following her visit to Mali in early March, WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin similarly underscored the UN’s resolve to feed the country’s northern areas with shipments of food by road and riverboat.

20 March 2013

The World Food Programme (WFP) will this year give food assistance to more than a million Malians through an emergency operation for people affected by the conflict in the north of the country. (..) The emergency operation will affect about 650,000 displaced people inside and their host families, who will benefit from direct assistance in food and cash. About the country programme, WFP will feed about 526,000 people through interventions that will create community activities, such as land preservation and irrigation. (..) The prevention of malnutrition in women, children and food for school children are also included in the WFP's priorities in Mali.

19 March 2013

The international community must continue its efforts to help feed people in the Sahel, the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today, following a visit to the West African region marred by high levels of food and nutrition insecurity, as well as the effects of the conflict in Mali. “The Sahel is facing a double threat: instability, caused by a conflict that has sent refugees across its borders, and chronic hunger, caused by cycles of drought and poor harvests. Last year the international community helped avert a crisis in the Sahel, but our work is not over,” WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said in a news release. She spent five days in Burkina Faso and Mali, which along with Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal, comprise the Sahel. Last year the international community provided $1.2 billion in assistance to feed around 10 million people in the region. (..) Meanwhile, in New York, the Security Council was briefed today in a closed-door session on Mali and the wider Sahel region by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos.

13 March 2013

No food, no school. That is the reality in Mali as described by a UN World Food Programme officer. Families are just looking for ways to survive. If you can provide food at school the children will come, and this holds the key to the country's future. The World Food Programme (WFP) is launching emergency school feeding in the northern part of Mali. This will feed close to 70,000 children throughout the conflict-affected area. WFP is already feeding 113,000 children in the southern part of the country. Will there be funding? That is a big question, because WFP relies on voluntary funding from governments and the public. Right now this operation is only 20 percent funded. (..) The neighboring country of Mauritania is also feeling the impact of the war, having taken in over 70,000 Malian refugees. (..) Sophie Ndong, of WFP in Mauritania, says that last year "primary school children were assisted during 80 days only instead of the 160 days planned."

11 March 2013

The UN World Food Program (WFP) has started to distribute food among the war-weary Malians experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis amid the French-led war on the country. On Friday, the UN humanitarian organization said it managed to dispatch food supplies using plane and boat to Mali’s northern towns of Gao and Timbuktu. According to WFP, the number of beneficiaries is expected to reach an estimated 145,000 in both cities. However, it is still not possible to figure out the humanitarian situation in some northern areas of the West African country, WFP said.

14 February 2013

Up to 10 million people across the Sahel region are at risk of food insecurity in 2013 and 1 million children are at risk of severe acute malnutrition, according to the United Nations. The U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel, David Gressly, talks to AlertNet about preventing malnutrition, building resilience and other priorities for the region this year. He says getting the money for these activities is likely to be a challenge – without a drought being the rallying point for raising funds.

8 February 2013

After weeks of airstrikes, the World Food Program and some of its partners have resumed operations in Mali’s north. Seven boats carrying 600 tons of food aid left the river port of Mopti over the weekend toward Nianfunké, near Timbuktu. The boats carried a month’s worth of food to some 35,000 people, according to U.N. food agency’s spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs.

7 February 2013

The United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, David Gressly says the World Food Program started moving food into the north two days ago, and other supplies also are being sent north to Timbuktu.

6 February 2013

First, and most pressing, is the humanitarian crisis. The numbers speak for themselves: 380,000 people have been displaced by the conflict. (..) These people need to be looked after and repatriated, the sooner the better. Then there's the food crisis Mali was having a tough time of it anyway, before all this started, but the fighting has meant that they've put virtually no measures in place to compensate for the droughts which have devastated crops. According to the United Nations, 4,6 million Malians are at risk from food insecurity. That's a substantial proportion of Mali's nearly 16 million-strong population.