U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier De Schutter said Thursday that recent food price spikes in China, “in the world’s most populous nation,” underscore the country’s food security challenges resulting from decreasing amounts of arable land, Agence France-Presse reports. Significant land degradation is also hindering China’s agricultural output, De Schutter said as he wrapped up a visit to China. “The recent food price hikes in China are a harbinger of what may be lying ahead,” he said in a statement. “This situation should encourage China to move towards more sustainable types of farming,” De Schutter added (12/23).
Food Security and Nutrition
A report (.pdf), released Wednesday, on breastfeeding practices in 33 countries found that out of 78 million infants born each year, about 42 million do not receive an optimal amount of breastfeeding, IANS/Sify News reports (12/22).
New York Times Reports On How Foreign Governments, Investors Are Pushing Some African Farmers Off Land
“Across Africa and the developing world, a new global land rush is gobbling up large expanses of arable land. Despite their ageless traditions, stunned villagers are discovering that African governments typically own their land and have been leasing it, often at bargain prices, to private investors and foreign governments for decades to come,” the New York Times writes in an article that examines the factors contributing to a growing interest in such land among investors.
Also In Global Health News: Poverty In Yemen; China’s Family Planning Policy; Preventive Medicine In Cuba; Food Security In Indonesia
AP Examines Development, Poverty Issues In Yemen “More than 50 percent of Yemen’s children are malnourished, rivaling war zones like Sudan’s Darfur and parts of sub-Saharan Africa. That’s just one of many worrying statistics in Yemen. Nearly half the population lives below the poverty line of $2 a day and…
The New York Times examines the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health program, which gave a total of $450 million to 43 research projects over five years. “On drawing attention to ways that lives might be saved through scientific advances, I’d give us an A,” Bill Gates, co-founder of the foundation, said of the program in an interview with the newspaper. “But I thought some would be saving lives by now, and it’ll be more like in 10 years from now,” Gates said.
Also In Global Health News: Discrimination Of HIV/AIDS Patients In China; International Charity; Violence In Afghanistan; Children’s Health In S. Sudan; Health Care Rationing
China’s Ministry Of Health To Introduce Policies, Measures To Decrease Discrimination Against Patients Living With HIV/AIDS At Hospitals Hao Yang, China’s deputy director of the disease prevention and control bureau under the Ministry of Health, during a forum on Wednesday, “vowed … to introduce policies and measures to curb discrimination…
Also In Global Health News: Malaria Vaccine; Brazil’s Progress Toward MDGs; Malnutrition In Guatemala; Treatments For Kala-Azar
PATH, Merck, NYU To Work Together On Development Of Vaccine To Keep Malaria Parasite From Entering Liver The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI), pharmaceutical company Merck and New York University’s Langone Medical Center on Tuesday announced they were collaborating “to develop a vaccine capable of preventing the malaria parasite from…
The 26th Annual Meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network , “which serves as the platform for deliberation on food production and food security in Africa,” opened on Tuesday in Accra, Ghana, the Ghana News Agency reports. The three-day forum will examine “the agricultural and food situation for the 2010/2011 cropping season and come out with measures on tackling food crises,” according to the news service. Food security officials from the Sahel and West Africa are attending the forum, in addition to representatives from international groups, including the Economic Community Of West African States, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, Oxfam, UNICEF and the World Food Program.
Also In Global Health News: Drought In Middle East; HIV/AIDS, TB In Indonesia; MSF Warnings Over Needs Of HIV/AIDS Patients; Non-Profit At Work In Uganda
IPS Examines Impact Of Drought On Farmers In Middle East Inter Press Service examines the effects a “devastating drought this fall” has had on farmers in the Middle East, particularly those living in Syria. Once “[a] large wheat exporter, the drought’s impact has now forced the agriculturally self-reliant Syrian government…
The World Program Program (WFP), with the support of UNAIDS, is planning to launch “a new policy to make food and nutritional support more available to people living with HIV,” VOA News reports. The agency “says the aim of [the] program is to help patients stick to their treatment, while protecting their households from further vulnerability,” the news service adds.