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Guardian Examines Efforts To Bring Therapeutic Food Production Into Developing Countries

The Guardian examines how ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTFs) — “small packets of a sticky, peanut butter-like paste, fortified with minerals and vitamins, that can reverse severe malnutrition within six weeks” — “have revolutionized famine relief in Africa,” and asks whether these products could be produced in the countries in which they are being distributed. “The vast majority of RUTFs are produced in the U.S. or Europe, bought by aid agencies such as UNICEF, and transported great distances to reach those in need,” the newspaper writes, adding, “But a small group of social enterprises is questioning this business model, redesigning it with a more local footprint in mind.”

U.N. Asks For $447M In Humanitarian Aid For Yemen

The U.N. on Sunday released its Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2012, asking for $447 million in humanitarian assistance targeted toward four million vulnerable people in the country, Reuters reports (Fuchs, 12/18). A statement from the U.N. Inter-Agency Standing Committee said more than half of those at risk will be “severely food insecure” in the coming year, Agence France-Presse notes.

U.S. To Work With South Sudan On Agriculture; Aid Agencies Warn Of Hunger Threat

“Speaking at a two-day development and investment conference for South Sudan in Washington, D.C., [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton said the newly independent country had the potential to be ‘one of Africa’s breadbaskets'” and said the U.S. would work with private sector partners to invest in the nation’s agriculture system, the Guardian reports. “However, aid agencies cautioned that the excitement about investment opportunities should not overshadow the country’s immediate humanitarian needs,” the newspaper writes.

Fate Of India’s Food Security Bill Unknown; Analysts Say It May Harm Country’s Economy

“Though approved by the Cabinet Sunday, the fate of the much-anticipated Food Security Bill, which will guarantee cheap food for India’s masses, is far from sealed,” the Wall Street Journal’s “India Real Time” blog reports, noting that the “bill is to be tabled in Parliament this week.” When the bill comes up for a vote, after potentially spending weeks in committee, “all political parties are expected to support the bill which will provide subsidized food grains to 75 percent of the rural population and about half of urban households,” the blog writes.

WFP Director Says Food Security Crisis In Sahel Is Not Over

The World Food Programme (WFP) “is helping feed more than 10 million people in eight countries” in the Sahel, but WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin “stressed the crisis was not over,” AlertNet reports. Conflict in Mali “has forced around 340,000 people to flee their homes, compounding a hunger crisis in Mali and neighboring countries…

Diarrhea Incidence Higher In Dry Seasons, Study Shows

“Diarrhea, killer of 1.5 million children annually, is likely to become more prevalent in many developing countries as the climate changes, a report says,” the Daily Climate/Scientific American reports. However, unlike conventional beliefs that diarrhea incidence increases during rainy and wet seasons, the researchers, led by Kathleen Alexander, an associate professor…

AlertNet Footage Shows Scenes Of Food Shortages In North Korea, Says Appeals For Aid Go Unanswered

“Footage of malnourished North Korean orphans and official warnings over failed harvests have given a rare glimpse at the scale of devastating food shortages in the country following a harsh winter and widespread flooding,” the Guardian reports. “The World Food Programme (WFP) … estimated in March that a quarter of the country’s 24 million inhabitants needed food aid and that a third of children were chronically malnourished” and “has warned it has only 30 percent of the funding it needs for its relief operation, which targets 3.5 million of North Korea’s most vulnerable citizens,” the newspaper writes.

Global Alliance Working To Bring Clean Cookstoves To Billions Of People

Nature: Global health: Deadly dinners “…[T]he urgency to transition billions of people around the world to cleaner forms of cooking has never been greater, in light of recent research revealing that emissions from traditional cooking-stoves pose a bigger threat than previously thought. … Environmental organizations, development groups and others have…

Innovation, Cooperation Needed To Urgently Address Climate Change, Food Security

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Agricultural Productivity and Food Security in the Face of Climate Change Pamela Anderson, director of the agricultural development program at the Gates Foundation, discusses the impacts of climate change on food security and the urgent need to address the situation through cooperation and…

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