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U.N. Official Calls For Additional Food Aid For North Korea

Valerie Amos, head of the U.N. Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs, on Friday “plead[ed] with international donors to overlook political difficulties in the face of a humanitarian crisis” in North Korea, where she said it is estimated six million people are in danger of not getting enough to eat, Agence France-Presse reports.

Food Price Increases Create Discontent Among The Poor

A new report published on Tuesday by Oxfam and the Institute of Development Studies on the impact of rising food prices “shows that the overall impact of the 2011 food price spike seems to be a ratcheting up of inequality, producing a pattern of ‘weak losers and strong winners,'” Duncan Green, Oxfam GB’s head of research, and Naomi Hossain, a research fellow in the Participation, Power and Social Change team at IDS, write in a post on the Guardian’s “Poverty Matters Blog.”

Financial Times Examines Race For FAO Director-General

The Financial Times examines the race to lead the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), saying that “since the 2007-08 food crisis and the price shock of 2010-11, the formerly low-profile FAO has been catapulted to the centre of global policymaking,” with six countries putting forth candidates for director-general.

Hedging Tool For Farmers Needs Safeguards

Writing in the Center for Global Development’s “Views From The Center” blog about the creation of a hedging tool by the World Bank and J.P. Morgan to help protect farmers from volatile food prices in developing countries,  CGD Vice President for Corporate Affairs Todd Moss says that having safeguards in…

More Than 10M People Affected By Drought In East Africa, U.N. Says

More than 10 million people in the Horn of Africa “are affected by the drought in one way or other,” Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Tuesday, Agence France-Presse reports.

GlobalPost Examines GHI’s Work To Address Chronic Malnutrition In Guatemala

Guatemala’s “vast inequality” helped it land “on the list of eight ‘plus’ countries in the Global Health Initiative (GHI) that President Barack Obama is focusing on as part of his expansion and revision of how the U.S. is funding and rethinking global aid,” GlobalPost’s “Global Pulse” blog reports in an article examining malnutrition in Guatemala, the wealthiest of nations in the first round of GHI plus countries.

Take Next Step On Food Hedging Plan

“We are thrilled that the G-20 is taking the issue of financial risk management (i.e., hedging) seriously. … The next step is to translate this vision into operational reality,” Ben Leo and Vijaya Ramachandran of the Center for Global Development write on the CGD’s “Global Development: Views from the Center”…

WFP Funding Shortfall Forcing Cutbacks In Afghanistan

“The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) is being forced by a funding shortfall to cut its recovery programmes in nearly half of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, a spokesperson said,” just as the country prepares for expected food shortages over the coming months, IRIN reports.

Donor Fatigue Harming Efforts To Fight Drought In Horn Of Africa, Aid Agencies Say

As a severe drought affecting Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia forces more people into refugee camps, donor fatigue is harming aid agencies’ abilities to work in the Horn of Africa, because “these recurrent droughts used to happen every 5-10 years but what we see now is it basically every other year … an indication of climate change conditions,” Michael Klaus, UNICEF spokesperson for east and southern Africa, told Reuters in an interview (Gachenge, 7/2).