Guatemala’s “vast inequality” helped it land “on the list of eight ‘plus’ countries in the Global Health Initiative (GHI) that President Barack Obama is focusing on as part of his expansion and revision of how the U.S. is funding and rethinking global aid,” GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports in an article examining malnutrition in Guatemala, the wealthiest of nations in the first round of GHI plus countries.
Environment and Climate Change
“We are thrilled that the G-20 is taking the issue of financial risk management (i.e., hedging) seriously. â€¦ The next step is to translate this vision into operational reality,” Ben Leo and Vijaya Ramachandran of the Center for Global Development write on the CGD’s “Global Development: Views from the Center”…
“The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) is being forced by a funding shortfall to cut its recovery programmes in nearly half of Afghanistanâ€™s 34 provinces, a spokesperson said,” just as the country prepares for expected food shortages over the coming months, IRIN reports.
As a severe drought affecting Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia forces more people into refugee camps, donor fatigue is harming aid agencies’ abilities to work in the Horn of Africa, because “these recurrent droughts used to happen every 5-10 years but what we see now is it basically every other year … an indication of climate change conditions,” Michael Klaus, UNICEF spokesperson for east and southern Africa, told Reuters in an interview (Gachenge, 7/2).
Global food production will have to increase 70 to 100 percent by 2050 to feed the world’s predicted 9 billion people, and that increase is only possible if more sustainable farming methods are used, according to the U.N.’s annual World Economic and Social Survey released on Tuesday, VOA News reports (7/5).
“Responding to the growing threat of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea, the European Union announced on Monday that it will provide about $14.5 million in emergency aid to feed more than some 650,000 North Koreans,” the New York Times reports (Castle/McDonald, 7/4).
“[T]he problem is not just assessing the size of the current crisis” of drought and hunger in East Africa, “[i]t is also the fact that the droughts in this region have become an almost annual occurrence,” a Guardian editorial states.
High rates of malnutrition in the Horn of Africa, combined with violence in Somali, “are threatening ‘a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions,’ the UNHCR warned” on Wednesday, the AFP/Daily Telegraph/Vancouver Sun reports. More than 12 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda have been hit by severe drought and rising food prices, forcing thousands to leave their homes and seek assistance in already-overflowing refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, the newspaper notes (Flood, 7/7).
USAID Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg writes in a post on the agency’s “IMPACTblog,” “This week, USAID activated a disaster assistance response team (DART) operating out of Ethiopia and Kenya to work with the World Food Program, UNICEF, and over a dozen other organizations to coordinate emergency efforts to relieve the…
In addition to ecological influences, “[l]ong and recurrent conflicts, poor infrastructure, misguided policy options, weak market system[s] and seasonal migration patterns account [for] the ever-increasing drought problems” in the Horn of Africa, Abeje Chumo, an international law expert and editor of the Horn of Africa blog for the Foreign Policy…