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Trust In Markets Essential To Creating More Food-Secure World

“Far too often we are seeing national governments overreact [to market fluctuations] to the extent that they are making pledges about and taking measures toward food self-sufficiency,” Emery Koenig, executive vice president and chief risk officer of Cargill, writes in the Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ “Global Food For Thought”…

Speculation Continues Over Possible Changes To U.S. Food Aid Program

“The U.S. Food for Peace, a food aid program with an annual $2 billion price tag, is reportedly being considered to be replaced with a more direct cash donation system, angering [some] senators and grassroots organizations,” Devex’s “Pennsylvania Ave.” blog reports. “No official announcement has come out yet, but at least 20…

WFP To Feed 1.6M People In Somalia This Year, Agency Reports

“The World Food Programme (WFP) reports it plans to feed 1.6 million people in Somalia this year, including more than one million people who are in a state of crisis” because of an ongoing insurgency by the Islamist militant group al-Shabab, VOA News writes. WFP “reports the situation in Somalia is somewhat…

U.N. Joint Meeting Addresses Issues Surrounding Food Security

“Scaling up the global response to food security and nutrition topped the agenda [Thursday] at a special joint meeting between the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the General Assembly, world experts and the U.N. food agencies aimed at identifying steps to build a future free of hunger,” the U.N.…

In Fight Against Hunger, 6 Principles To Increase Resilience In Food-Insecure Communities

“As we grow more interconnected, a range of complex risks, including climate change, environmental degradation, population growth, conflict, and food and fuel price volatility, are exacerbating the challenges faced by vulnerable communities,” Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP); José Graziano da Silva, director general of…

European Commission Needs Comprehensive Strategy To Address Malnutrition, Report Says

“The European Commission needs to develop a proper and integrated strategy on nutrition backed by a significant increase in funding, according to a report” on the E.U. and nutrition development policy that is supported by international organizations, companies and non-governmental organizations, the Guardian reports. The newspaper notes that the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates up to one billion people are undernourished worldwide, and the World Food Programme says it will take $11.8 billion annually to address 90 percent of child malnutrition cases.

Senate Passes Farm Bill With Amendment Allowing Food Aid To North Korea With Presidential Waiver

The Senate on Thursday passed 64-35 the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, otherwise known as the farm bill, which “funds agriculture, farm and nutrition programs over the next five years,” The Hill’s “Floor Action Blog” reports. “The vote on the bill (S 3240) came immediately after the chamber finished a two-day marathon on consideration of 73 amendments to it,” the blog notes (Strauss, 6/21). On Wednesday, “[t]he Senate voted to continue food aid to North Korea, shooting down an amendment ending that aid and also approving a different one in support of it,” the blog reports in a separate article. According to the blog, “First, the Senate voted on an amendment by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) that was essentially a counter to an amendment by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) to cut off U.S. food aid to North Korea. The Kerry-Lugar amendment was approved in a vote of 59 to 40, and Kyl’s amendment failed 43 to 56” (Strauss, 6/20).

U.N. SG Ban Announces 'Zero Hunger Challenge' In Message To Rio+20 Summit

In a video message addressing the Rio+20 summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Thursday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “announced a ‘Zero Hunger Challenge’ to rid the world of malnutrition,” Bloomberg News reports. “‘In a world of plenty, no one, not a single person, should go hungry,’ Ban said. ‘I invite you all to join me in working for a future without hunger,'” the news agency notes. “Ending hunger would boost economic growth, reduce poverty and help protect the environment, as well as foster peace and stability, Ban said,” Bloomberg writes, adding that the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 13 percent of the world’s population, or 900 million people, suffer from hunger. Barbara Stocking, CEO of Oxfam, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, “This is the first big idea on food to come out of the Rio+20 debacle. … But it is in total contrast to the lack of any action in the summit conclusions” (Ruitenburg, 6/22).

Simple Reforms To U.S. Farm Bill Would Enable International Food Aid Programs To Reach Millions More

“In this year’s farm bill, there is a crucial opportunity to reform how the United States handles international food aid programs,” GROW campaign manager Vicky Rateau writes in this post in Oxfam’s “The Politics of Poverty” blog, adding, “Simple reforms would enable aid agencies to reach millions more people when crises like the one emerging in the Sahel occur and they would not cost taxpayers a dime. In fact, reform could save taxpayers up to $500 million per year.” She concludes, “Changing food aid rules will not fix our farm bill overnight,” but “achieving the big, structural changes our food system desperately needs will require active and engaged citizens who are willing to stand up for what’s right” (6/21).

Journalists, Policy Experts, Bloggers Discuss Hunger Situation In Africa's Sahel

“Journalists, policy experts, bloggers (including myself) and World Food Programme staff joined in a robust discussion last week about the current hunger situation in Africa’s Sahel region, including its causes and what can be done moving forward,” Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, writes in this post in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, noting, “In the Google+ hangout, streamed on YouTube, Denise Brown, the World Food Programme’s country director for Niger, logged on from the capital, Niamey, to report precisely what is happening in the region and how people are faring in the wake of no rains, failed crops, and increased food prices.” She continues, “One of the primary points that Brown emphasized was about early warning systems and data propelled early intervention,” and concludes, “The state of the hunger crisis in the Sahel dictates that aid must happen now. But those who are working in the region, like Brown, understand that to prevent another food shortage next year ideas to combat another hunger season have to be employed” (6/8).