“The Obama administration wants more flexibility in how it allocates food aid dollars to complement its new strategy to help small farmers in poor countries boost their food production,” according to a conference call Friday with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Reuters reports.
Environment and Climate Change
Opinions: HIV Vaccine; HIV Resources Help Promote Global Disease Control; U.S. Fight Against World Hunger
New York Times Opinion ExaminesÂ HIV Vaccine Research Seth Berkley, president and chief executive of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, in a New York Times opinion pieceÂ examines how the “pessimism” over the recent controversy surrounding the results of an experimental HIV vaccine tested in Thailand “may ultimately thwart other efforts to…
Today marks World Food Day, with the aim of bringing “awareness to the issue of hunger,” as the world faces “more mouths to feed but fewer farmers to grow the needed crops,” Deutsche Welle reports. The news outlet calls hunger an “income problem,” adding that “farmers will continue fleeing their fields for more lucrative opportunities in the urban areas unless incomes improve.”
During a “keynote speech” Thursday at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa, Bill Gates, cofounder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is expected to announce $120 million in grants “to promote dynamic, home-grown, sustainable agriculture in Africa and India,” Agence France-Presse reports. In a statement, Gates said that “helping the poorest smallholder farmers grow more and get it to market is the world’s single most powerful lever for reducing hunger and poverty” (Zeitvogel, 10/15).
A warning from Nigeria’s National Emergency Management Agency about drought in northern parts of the country has raised “concern about food security not only in Africa’s most populous nation but also in other parts of West Africa,” Reuters AlertNet reports.
Reforms are required to curb global hunger, which was already “growing” before the worldwide financial downturn, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) said in a report, released in Rome, ahead of World Food Day on Friday, the BBC reports.
Sky News examines the drought in East Africa, focusing on its impact in Kenya. In “[o]ne of the worst-affected areas,” 70 percent of the “herds of cattle and goats have died in the past year, threatening the survival of entire communities who depend on them for their food and income,” according to Sky News.
There is a “realistic possibility” that the world could see a repeat of the 2007-2008 upsurge in food prices that “caused a sharp rise in the number of hungry people around the world,” the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday at a forum of experts who are meeting in Rome through Tuesday, Reuters reports. “Food commodities prices are likely to stay high and volatile in the medium term,” according to the FAO.
Lancet Comment Examines Efforts To Subsidize ACTs A Lancet comment examines an Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria (AMFm) program to help countries procure subsidized artemisinin-based combination treatments (ACTs). The authors write though it is worth celebrating the recent advances in malaria prevention, “these successes cannot hide the fact that close…
McClatchy/Chicago Tribune examines the “worst drought in 30 years” in Guatemala, which “has destroyed 80 percent of the region’s crops and claimed the lives of more than a dozen children so far this year.” Malnutrition among children in the country “has long been a major problem, and rates are especially high in rural areas,” according to the news service. “Almost half of Guatemala’s children younger than 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition, among the highest rates in the world, according to UNICEF.”