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.”
Environment and Climate Change
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.”
Also In Global Health News: Carter Promotes Malaria Eradication; India To Educate Tribal Populations About HIV/AIDS; WFP Feels Impact Of Global Recession
Carter Visits Haiti, Dominican Republic To Promote Efforts To Eradicate Malaria Former President Jimmy Carter is traveling to Haiti and the Dominican Republic in hopes of encouraging the country “leaders to forge a pact to rid the island of Hispaniola of malaria,” the Associated Press/Los Angeles Times reports. “An estimated…
Reuters examines how floods, droughts and rising temperatures, thought to be caused by climate change, are compromising African farm lands and leading to health problems for already vulnerable populations â€“ a topic discussed at the “first pan-African climate hearings.”