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Namibian Government Taking Action Against Country’s Worst Drought In 30 Years

Think Africa Press reports on a drought in Namibia, the worst the country has seen in 30 years, writing, “In the Kunene region in the north, rain has not fallen for two years, and the U.N. recently estimated that 778,000 people — approximately one-third of the population — are either…

Reduce Waste, Cut Down Biofuel Use To Meet Global Food Needs

Writing in the Huffington Post’s “Impact” blog, Timothy Wise of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University and Marie Brill, executive director of ActionAid USA, discuss predictions of food insecurity, saying, “The issues are indeed serious, but the specter of looming food shortages is a bit overblown.”…

Addressing Global Hunger Involves More Than Increasing Food Production Yields

“It’s been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy spoke of ending world hunger, yet on the eve of World Food Day, October 16, the situation remains dire,” New York Times columnist Mark Bittman writes in an International New York Times opinion piece. In the current system, “a third [of…

Opinion Pieces Address World Food Day

October 16 is recognized as World Food Day, with this year’s theme of “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.” The following summarizes several opinion pieces addressing issues surrounding food production, distribution and security. Chris Brett, The Guardian’s “Sustainable Business” blog: “According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture…

WHO Cancer Agency Classifies Air Pollution As Carcinogen

“The International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] declared on Thursday that air pollution is a carcinogen, alongside known dangers such as asbestos, tobacco and ultraviolet radiation,” the Associated Press reports. “The decision came after a consultation by an expert panel organized by IARC, the cancer agency of the [WHO],…

WFP Says More Than 1M Zimbabweans Will Need Food Aid Through March 2012

More than one million Zimbabweans will need food aid between now and March 2012 because of poor harvests and food prices out of reach for vulnerable families, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) said Monday, the Associated Press reports (11/21). The agency “said it was facing a $42 million funding shortfall for food aid it planned to provide to vulnerable households in Zimbabwe’s hardest-hit areas until the start of the harvest season in March,” Reuters writes (11/21). According to a recent survey, “12 percent of the rural population will not have the means to feed themselves adequately during the lean season,” a WFP press release notes, adding, “Most at risk are low-income families hit by failed harvests, and households with orphans and vulnerable children” (11/21).

Increasing Food Supply Through Production, Trade Policies Necessary To Prevent Widespread Hunger

“If we are to succeed in alleviating poverty and providing the necessary framework for sustainable development on our planet, there is no more pressing need than ensuring the supply of affordable food for our people,” Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, writes in the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.” He continues, “There are two keys to tackling this problem, enhancing production — particularly in Africa — and ensuring that trade in food flows unhindered from the lands of the plenty to the lands of the few. Without immediate action in these two areas, there is a risk that hunger will become even more widespread, with many million more lives at stake” (11/21).

Millions Of Afghans Face Hunger, Disease After Drought Destroys Crops

“Up to three million people in Afghanistan are facing hunger, malnutrition and disease after a severe drought wiped out their crops and extreme winter weather risks cutting off their access to vital food aid, a group of aid agencies warned Friday,” Reuters reports. Poor rains in many parts of the country destroyed crops and food prices have nearly doubled since last year, causing many families to skip meals, move into neighboring countries, or take loans to purchase food, the groups said, according to the news agency. The U.N. made an emergency appeal for $142 million in October to help families affected by the drought, but only seven percent has been funded by international donors, Reuters notes (Bhalla, 11/18).

U.S., U.N. Food Agencies Downgrade Three Somalia Famine Zones To Emergency Status

U.S. and U.N. food agencies on Friday said three famine zones in Somalia had been downgraded to emergency status, as aid had reduced death rates, but “three other areas — including the refugee communities of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu — remain in the famine zone,” the Associated Press/CBSNews reports. The agencies “warn[ed] that a quarter million Somalis face imminent starvation, and that military battles are preventing food deliveries,” according to the AP (11/18). The U.N. Food Security Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) said in a statement, “Overall, food security outcomes remain the worst in the world, and the worst in Somalia since the 1991/92 famine,” Agence France-Presse notes (11/18).