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Obama Administration Should Provide Food Aid To N. Korea ‘As Soon As Is Practical’

Recounting the factors that led to and conditions that persisted during the North Korean famine between 1995 and 1998, New Yorker staff writer Steve Coll says in this opinion piece in the magazine, “Better harvests and international food aid ended the worst suffering by 1998. Yet chronic food insecurity and shortages persist to this day.”

IRIN Analysis Examines ‘Subtleties’ Of Early Warning Messages In Food Security Situations

In this analysis, “IRIN discussed with aid agencies and Sahel food security analysts the subtleties of getting early warning messages right in such situations.” According to the news service, “Food security in the Sahel this year is part of a ‘persistent and predictable reservoir of chronic acute food insecurity,’ [experts] say, ‘in a predictable portion of the region’s population,’ and requires long-term structural aid not short-term fixes.” In addition, “much of the malnutrition in the region is caused by other factors: poor water quality, low-quality health care, poor sanitation and poor feeding practices,” IRIN writes. The article includes quotes from numerous food security experts (12/23).

Experts’ Debate Over How Trade Affects Food Security Focusing Attention On Doha Talks, IRIN Reports

IRIN reports how “[a]n exchange between two leading world officials on how trade affects food insecurity in countries has helped focus attention on the stalled Doha trade talks.” A debate between Olivier de Schutter, the U.N. Human Rights Council special rapporteur on the right to food, and Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO), “has reopened issues around the Doha talks which have been going on, in stop-start mode, for the last 10 years,” IRIN writes.

U.S. To Provide $113M In Additional Aid To Horn Of Africa

President Obama on Thursday announced “an additional $113 million in emergency relief assistance for the Horn of Africa … [to] support urgently needed food, health, shelter, water and assistance needs,” according to a White House statement. The additional aid adds to the approximately $870 million already provided to assist the region with emergency relief, according to the statement, which noted the administration is making long-term investments in food security through the Feed the Future initiative.

Washington Post Examines India’s Efforts To Fight Child Malnutrition

“Stung by the realization that it faced a child malnutrition crisis worse than in most African countries, India is finally waking to the scale of the problem,” the Washington Post reports in an article examining the country’s efforts to combat child malnutrition. “Progress is slow and political will patchy, but there are signs that a new approach to fighting malnutrition is beginning to reap dividends,” the newspaper continues and details several nationwide and state-level efforts. “Despite the progress, India has a long way to go,” the Washington Post adds, noting, “India’s progress in fighting malnutrition fails to impress many experts.” According to the newspaper, many programs established to fight malnutrition lack methods to measure progress or track accountability. The Washington Post also features a photo slide show and a graphic on child malnutrition in India (Denyer, 12/26).

IRIN Examines Issues Surrounding Implementation Of National Drought Policies

“There is quite a leap to be made between a country’s declared intent to draw up a drought policy and actually making it happen on the ground,” according to “several participants at the recent High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy in Geneva,” IRIN reports. “Drought is the world’s costliest natural…

Blog Examines Survival Of Feed The Future Initiative Under Sequestration

“While the [Feed the Future] program took a few years to get off the ground, and is probably not all that well known to the public, it is a favorite of USAID Administrator Raj Shah — and also a go-to program budget hawks now want to cut back,” development blogger…

Guardian Examines African Environmental Outlook Report

The Guardian highlights the African Environment Outlook-3 [.pdf], a report released last month by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that examines “[t]he multifaceted connection between environmental and human health.” The report is the third in a series, with the first published in 2002 and the second in 2006, the…

Secretary Kerry Announces Additional U.S. Aid To Typhoon-Hit Philippines

“After touring miles of roofless homes and shattered shantytowns destroyed by one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday announced that additional American humanitarian aid would be sent to the Philippines and described the giant typhoon as a warning of future extreme weather…