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VOA News Program Examines International Humanitarian Aid In Horn Of Africa

The VOA News audio program “Explorations” on Tuesday discussed international humanitarian aid in the Horn of Africa. The program features interviews with Kurt Tjossem, the International Rescue Committee’s regional director for the Horn of Africa and East Africa; Shannon Scribner, Oxfam America’s humanitarian policy manager; and Nancy Lindborg, USAID’s assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.

Several West African Nations Facing Food Insecurity; WFP Steps Up Efforts In Niger

Several countries in West Africa, including Niger, Mauritania and Chad, are facing food insecurity crises “unless the international community acts now, the United Nations warned on Friday,” AlertNet reports. “Communities in the Sahel, which faces increasingly frequent droughts, have not had time to recover from the last food crisis,” which hit the region last year, the news service reports.

Child Mortality Declining In Refugee Camp In Ethiopia

In the clinic of Hilaweyn, one of four camps at Ethiopia’s Dollo Ado complex for Somali refugees seeking relief from famine and poor security conditions, “[a] massive infusion of humanitarian resources … appears to be turning the tide” against child mortality, according to Doctors Without Borders, which operates the clinic, VOA News reports. “When Doctors Without Borders opened the Hilaweyn clinic … in August, children were dying of malnutrition at the rate of more than one a day. Two months later, the clinic’s emergency coordinator Aria Danika said they treat 1,000 cases a day, and only one child has died in the past two weeks,” VOA writes (Heinlein, 10/28).

Targets For Somalia Aid Likely To Be Missed In 2011, U.N. Draft Report Says

“Despite a massive increase in humanitarian operations and international funding since famine was formally declared 100 days ago, the relief effort in Somalia is expected to miss almost all its key targets for 2011, a draft United Nations report reveals,” the Guardian reports, adding, “[m]alnutrition rates have more than doubled, less than 60 percent of the 3.7 million people targeted have received monthly food assistance, and only 58 percent of a targeted 1.2 million people received critical non-food aid items.”

Food Aid Vouchers Are Faster, Cheaper Alternative Than Shipping Food Aid Abroad

In this New York Times opinion piece, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tina Rosenberg reports on the use of food vouchers by some aid organizations in Somalia, highlighting the efforts of World Concern, “a Seattle-based Christian humanitarian group, and its Somali partner, the African Rescue Committee, [which] provide 1,800 families every two weeks with rice, beans, cooking oil, salt and sugar for their tea.”

U.N. Calls For Concerted Efforts On Food Security Issues; Australia Drives Food Security As Commonwealth Meeting Theme

“United Nations officials [on Thursday] called for concerted efforts to ensure the world’s fast-growing population has enough food, stressing that global food production will have to double by 2050 when the planet is expected to host one billion inhabitants,” according to the U.N. News Centre. “Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed that guaranteeing sustainable food and nutrition security for all will require the full engagement of governments and the private sector” and “said he was encouraged by the renewed political interest in food security, including the prominence that is being given to the issue by the Group of 20 of the world’s largest economies,” the news service adds (10/27).

USAID’s FWD Campaign Launches With PSAs On Crisis In Horn Of Africa

“One month after [USAID] announced the FWD (famine, war, and drought) public awareness campaign at the Social Good summit, they officially launched the campaign across the country though celebrity public service announcements (PSAs) developed with the Ad Council,” according to a post in the Department of State’s “DipNote” blog. The ads feature…

U.N. Officials Warn Yemen Facing Humanitarian, Health Disasters

High-level officials from UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) this week warned that “[r]outine immunization of children has dropped by 40 percent in some areas of Yemen, leading to outbreaks of polio and measles and reflecting a growing collapse of public services in a country that is on the brink of a humanitarian disaster,” IRIN reports. Earlier this month, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos cited “conflict, poverty, drought, soaring food prices and collapsing state services” as reasons for widespread suffering of millions of people in the country, according to IRIN.

USAID Blog Recognizes Partners Leading Fight Against Global Hunger

A post in USAID’s “IMPACTblog” recognizes Howard Buffett, president of the Howard G. Buffet Foundation, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, both recipients of the World Food Program USA’s 10th Annual George McGovern Leadership Awards, “for their extraordinary efforts to fight global hunger”; reports on USAID Administrator…

Clinton Announces Increase In U.S. Aid To Horn Of Africa By $100M

Speaking at a World Food Programme (WFP) awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. “is increasing food aid to drought-hit and strife-torn Horn of Africa nations where millions of people are at risk of starvation and malnutrition,” Reuters reports (Allen, 10/24).