Hunger in the news

18 February 2013

Denied access to farmlands and town markets, able-bodied men are unable to earn any money as day laborers, leaving them fully dependent on aid, explains Carlos Veloso, country director for the U.N. World Food Program in Burma. This is problematic, he points out, since the international donors currently needed to feed legions of displaced (and must renew funding due to expire in April) don’t want to create permanent settlements.

17 January 2013

In the town of Sittwe, the violence has divided the once peaceful ethnic Rakhine and Muslim communities, turning friends into enemies and driving neighbors into exile. At first glance the town appears peaceful, and the streets are bustling with people visiting shops and restaurants. But just a short drive from the town center the landscape alters with relief camps and NGO vehicles, the telltale sign that we are reaching our destination. Mozala camp houses 573 people from ethnic Rakhine communities in temporary bamboo shelters. (..) While the longterm solutions to this crisis remain unclear, the need for drinking water, food, shelter and medical care are very evident.

4 January 2013

UNDP and the various agencies, funds and programmes have been helping a great deal, particularly now that the Government is opening up. There is also the area of humanitarian assistance and support. That is again an area where the UN is doing a lot, whether it is on the part of the High Commissioner for Refugees, on the part of OCHA [Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs], on the part of the World Food Programme.

6 November 2012

(...) "The situation is dire. The UN is doing its best, but it is trying to find more funding to help them," said Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project, an NGO working with the Rohingya. With at least 32,000 people displaced by the latest violence – and at least 107,000 since trouble broke out in June – thousands have sought safety in refugee camps around the Burmese town of Sittwe. Those camps are at crisis point, according to Refugees International, which estimates that nearly a quarter of children were malnourished.

27 August 2012

Torrential rain in Myanmar has forced thousands to flee their homes and flooded hundreds of thousands of acres of rice paddies. (..) The government, private benefactors and the World Food Program have provided food rations to flood victims.

13 July 2012

Padamyar FM, a radio station covering the Sagaing region of Myanmar’s Dry Zone, has been broadcasting local market prices of crops, from sesame and maize to peas and groundnuts, twice a day since March. (..) Myanmar’s Dry Zone, home to about 14.5 million people, is also one of the hungriest parts of the country. According to the World Food Programme, 41 percent of households there are food insecure – meaning that they regularly cut down on what they eat because they don’t have enough food.

19 June 2012

The World Food Program says it has distributed emergency food supplies to 66,000 people in the past week and is now moving additional stocks to the western Rakhine state. WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday that the agency is planning a three-month operation in the area.

9 January 2012

The annual harvest season in Myanmar's northern Kachin State has come and gone but much of the rice crop has not been harvested or was never planted after fighting between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) erupted on 9 June 2011 after a 17-year ceasefire was broken. (..) But getting into the most-affected areas will only be the first step, Marcus Prior, spokesman for World Food Programme (WFP) Asia, told IRIN on 5 January. (..) "Our operations across the country are facing significant shortfalls - right now WFP only has funds to guarantee food deliveries into February."

5 January 2012

As the government of Myanmar continues to pledge political reform, donors are reassessing their giving in a country that has historically received among the lowest levels of per capita development aid of any developing country. (..) In Chin State, eight out of 10 households are food insecure, according to the World Food Programme, while hundreds of thousands were internally displaced as of June 2011 and in need of assistance, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC).

16 November 2011

November 14 - Part of Myanmar's breadbasket in the country's centre is fast deteriorating and the area may face greater food insecurity without immediate action, local NGOs warn. (..) While greening efforts are important, boosting food security demands a "comprehensive development effort" to protect the poorest from the impacts of weather variability, said Marcus Prior, World Food Programme's Asia spokesman. "Vulnerability in this area is cyclical - always more severe during the lean [dry] season, when work is scarce, wages lower and basic food prices higher."