The Korean Sharing Movement, a South Korean relief group, “crossed into North Korea Tuesday with 12 trucks full of flour, marking the first food aid of its kind since a North Korean attack last year,” VOA’s “Breaking News” blog reports. The group delivered 300 tons of flour to the border city of Paju. It will feed 22,000 children, according to the Reverend In Myung-jin, who leads the group (7/26).
Food Security and Nutrition
For the first time since the food crisis in the Horn of Africa began, a U.N. plane carrying 10 tons of food aid for children landed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday, “as aid groups warned of a growing influx of hungry families from the famine-hit south of the country,” Reuters reports (Sheikh, 7/27).
While the world focuses on the famine in East Africa, warnings about high child malnutrition rates in Niger appear “to have gone unnoticed by the international media,” AlertNet reports.
The June/July issue of USAID’s Frontlines focuses on climate change, including an article on how Kenyan farmers are adapting to environmental changes. The issue also includes articles on how the search for an HIV vaccine has boosted African research and on the introduction of the GeneXpert tuberculosis test in Central…
The following opinion pieces address the drought and famine situation in the Horn of Africa:
The “crisis in southern Somalia is expected to continue to worsen through 2011, with all areas of the south slipping into famine,” according to a U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report for countries sending aid to the region, Reuters reports.
The famine in the Horn of Africa is getting worse, and unless there is “a massive increase in the response, the famine will spread to five or six more regions” in Somalia, Valerie Amos, the U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told reporters on Monday, Reuters reports. Amos said the U.N. needs an additional $1.4 billion to help those in need and that the African Union would soon hold a funding conference, the news agency notes (Charbonneau, 8/1).
“[A]s the worst drought in 60 years again devastates the Horn of Africa, throwing as many as 12 million into desperate hunger â€¦ there are hopeful signs that today’s drought need not result in the tens of thousands of deaths that we saw in earlier decades,” World Food Programme Executive Director Josette Sheeran writes in the Reuters blog “The Great Debate.”
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).