The NIH in a press release said it will begin work on a “new programÂ to discover, develop and distribute measures of nutritional status.” The Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) Program “brings together experts in the field of nutrition to provide advice to researchers, clinicians, program- and policymakers, on the…
Food Security and Nutrition
“Responding to the growing threat of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea, the European Union announced on Monday that it will provide about $14.5 million in emergency aid to feed more than some 650,000 North Koreans,” the New York Times reports (Castle/McDonald, 7/4).
“[T]he problem is not just assessing the size of the current crisis” of drought and hunger in East Africa, “[i]t is also the fact that the droughts in this region have become an almost annual occurrence,” a Guardian editorial states.
Significant progress is being made toward reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline, but the poorest countries are not progressing as quickly and more must be done to improve health and development outcomes in those nations, according to this year’s MDG report (.pdf), VOA News reports. “Despite the global economic downturn and the food and energy crises, we are on track to meet the MDG targets for poverty-reduction,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said at the launch of the report on Thursday in Geneva (Schlein, 7/7).
High rates of malnutrition in the Horn of Africa, combined with violence in Somali, “are threatening ‘a human tragedy of unimaginable proportions,’ the UNHCR warned” on Wednesday, the AFP/Daily Telegraph/Vancouver Sun reports. More than 12 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Uganda have been hit by severe drought and rising food prices, forcing thousands to leave their homes and seek assistance in already-overflowing refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, the newspaper notes (Flood, 7/7).
In a New York Times opinion piece, Robert Jensen, an associate professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Nolan Miller, a professor of finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, suggest an alternate strategy for measuring hunger, called the “staple-calorie-share approach,” which “can give us a radically different view of who is hungry and who is not.”
“U.N. officials sounded the alarm Tuesday about a deepening crisis in East Africa, saying they are struggling to cope with the number of people on the move in the region because of the severe drought and continued fighting in Somalia,” the Associated Press reports. “World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran said the drought has left millions hungry, farmers at risk of losing their livelihoods and the lives of hundreds of thousands of children at risk,” the AP writes (7/12).
With the State Department’s reassurance to aid groups on Tuesday that they “will not face prosecution if they are forced to pay bribes to al-Shabab or if militants divert some food supplies,” organizations still have “the problem of gaining access to famine victims and ensuring the safety of their personnel, a number of whom have been murdered by the militants,” a Washington Post editorial says. “But the crisis may be causing al-Shabab’s cohesion to break down; some commanders have been cutting deals with aid organizations to receive food supplies,” the editorial states.
The Obama administration on Tuesday issued new guidance stating “the U.S. would not prosecute relief agencies for delivering aid to parts of Somalia controlled by the Islamist insurgent group al-Shabab, despite concerns that unrestricted aid in the failed state would be diverted to the wrong hands,” Inter Press Service reports (Hough, 8/2).
“Scientists have identified an emerging ‘superbug’ strain of salmonella that is highly resistant to the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin, or Cipro, often used for severe salmonella infections, and say they fear it may spread around the world,” according to a study published online Tuesday in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Reuters reports (Kelland, 8/3).