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Gains In Child Health, Education Threatened By Increase In Malnutrition, Save The Children Report Says

“More children survived past their fifth birthday and attended school at the end of the 2000s than a decade before, but a rise in acute malnutrition could undermine these unprecedented gains,” according to a report released Thursday by Save the Children, AlertNet reports. Between 2005 and 2010, “1.5 million more children suffered from wasting or acute weight loss … than in the first half of the 2000s,” the news agency reports, adding, “This happened as high, volatile food prices and increasingly extreme weather made food less affordable for many poor families, tipping some into crisis” (Nguyen, 7/19). According to the report, Japan is the best place for children, and Somalia “is ranked last among the nations considered following a food crisis last year which killed tens of thousands of children,” the Independent notes. “According to Save The Children, the overall proportion of acutely malnourished children grew by 1.2 percent during the previous decade,” the newspaper writes (Diaz, 7/19).

GlobalPost Interviews Food Security Expert Regarding Global Food Crisis

GlobalPost correspondent David Case interviews Jonathan White, an expert on food, hunger and development and head of the German Marshall Fund’s International Development Project, about the global food crisis, asking, “[I]s the crisis really new? What’s causing it? And what’s being done to address it?” The interview highlights the current drought in the U.S. and examines its effect on the global population, among other topics (7/26).

RECENT RELEASE: U.S. Remains Committed To Helping Somalia A Year After Famine Declaration

Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator for the USAID Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, reflects on the one-year anniversary of the declaration of famine in Somalia in this post in the State Department’s DipNote blog, stating, “Because of lessons learned during the last Somalia famine in the early 1990s, we were able to mount a smart and effective response.” She continues, “USAID worked around the clock in the region and in Washington to ensure strategies, supplies and partners were in place, including creative approaches to address the limited humanitarian access in many parts of Somalia.” Though the famine abated in February, “the situation remains tenuous in Somalia,” Lindborg notes, concluding that “it is imperative to address the need for a stable, legitimate government that can meet the needs of the Somalia people. This is a priority of the U.S. government and our international partners” (7/26).

U.N. Warns Somalia Remains In Need Of Assistance One Year After Famine Declaration

The U.N. warned Tuesday that more than 2.5 million people in Somalia remain in need of assistance despite international aid efforts and the situation could worsen unless more effort is made to build on gains since famine was declared in July 2011, Agence France-Presse reports. “Tens of thousands of people are believed to have died last year after extreme drought and war pushed several areas of southern Somalia into famine” last year, the news agency writes.

“‘Mortality and malnutrition rates in Somalia have improved dramatically but remain among the highest in the world,’ Mark Bowden, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, told reporters in the Kenyan capital,” according to AFP. He noted that a $576 million gap remained in funding, about half of what is needed, the news agency notes (7/17). The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, on Tuesday said more than one million Somalis had fled the country due to food shortages and insecurity, BBC News reports, noting the agency also said the flow of refugees had slowed (7/17).

Global Humanitarian Assistance Report Says 38% Of U.N. Appeals Went Unfunded In 2011

Though the level of humanitarian needs in 2011 was lower than the previous year, “38 percent of appeals for financing made by the U.N. went unmet,” according to the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) Report 2012,” the Guardian reports. “The U.N. had requested $8.9 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of 62 million people [in 2011] … compared with an appeal for $11.3 billion to help 74 million people in 2010. Nonetheless, it received only $5.5 billion of its 2011 request,” the newspaper notes. “The GHA 2012 report said aid had gone to recent larger humanitarian disasters at the expense of small, less high-profile crises,” the Guardian states (Mead/Bakosi, 7/20).

IRIN Examines Food Security Issues

“With the help of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), and food security experts, IRIN takes a closer look” at how droughts worldwide are affecting grain and cereal supplies, the resulting price fluctuations, and how these issues affect food aid operations. Though experts say a crisis is not imminent, “there is concern that staple grains like maize and wheat could become less affordable for the poor, and sharp fluctuations in prices or volatility could disrupt the efforts of grain-importing poor countries to stay within their budgets,” IRIN writes. In addition, “[t]he price of maize and wheat will affect agencies like WFP, said [Maximo Torero, director of the Markets, Trade and Institutions Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)],” IRIN notes, adding that Torero said, “But at this point I will not be alarmist, although cautious” (7/12).

Secretary Clinton Announces New Partnerships At Event Celebrating Power Of Collaboration

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton [on Thursday] hosted over 200 representatives from business, non-governmental organizations, and civil society groups to celebrate the power of collaboration,” Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, and Kris Balderston, the special representative for global partnerships, write in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog. “We…

African Women Farmers Need Support From Leaders, Policymakers

Forbes: Supporting Women Farmers Is The Key To Africa’s Continued Progress Uyen Kim Huynh, senior research scientist at the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University “…Given the critical role that women farmers play in Africa with respect to agricultural production and securing livelihoods for their families, further…

Pollution Kills More In Developing World Than Disease, Analysis Shows

News outlets report on an analysis released by the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP) that states pollution, rather than disease, is the biggest killer in the developing world. Inter Press Service: In Developing World, Pollution Kills More Than Disease “Pollution, not disease, is the biggest killer in the…

New Development Framework Should Tackle Inequality, Climate Change

Inter Press Service: Op-Ed: Overcoming the Twin Hurdles of Inequality and Climate Change Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International “…Laudable progress has been made under the MDGs, which are set to expire next year. … Yet the twin challenges of inequality and climate change have not been adequately tackled.…