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UNHCR Says African Drought Threatens ‘Human Tragedy Of Unimaginable Proportions’

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).

New NIH Program To Identify Nutritional Status Measures

The NIH in a press release said it will begin work on a “new program 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…

Emergency Aid Will Ease East African Hunger, But It’s Not The Solution

In a Guardian opinion piece, Nicholas Young, chief executive of the British Red Cross, writes about ongoing hunger in East Africa and how it ideally should be addressed. “Today’s situation is so dire that in many cases emergency food aid is the only realistic option. But, while it undoubtedly saves lives, it doesn’t help build resilience, and can, in fact, destabilize local markets and lock families into dependency,” Young notes.

EU To Provide $14.5M For Emergency Food Aid To North Korea

“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).

Donor Fatigue Harming Efforts To Fight Drought In Horn Of Africa, Aid Agencies Say

As a severe drought affecting Somalia, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia forces more people into refugee camps, donor fatigue is harming aid agencies’ abilities to work in the Horn of Africa, because “these recurrent droughts used to happen every 5-10 years but what we see now is it basically every other year … an indication of climate change conditions,” Michael Klaus, UNICEF spokesperson for east and southern Africa, told Reuters in an interview (Gachenge, 7/2).

WFP Funding Shortfall Forcing Cutbacks In Afghanistan

“The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) is being forced by a funding shortfall to cut its recovery programmes in nearly half of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, a spokesperson said,” just as the country prepares for expected food shortages over the coming months, IRIN reports.

Aflatoxin Treatment Project In Kenya Faces Challenge In Marketing Product To Poor Farmers

IRIN examines an 18-month project in Kenya testing a maize treatment aimed at controlling “a deadly fungus, aflatoxin,” which has the potential to cause cancer, immune system suppression, growth retardation, liver disease and death among the “literally billions of people in the developing world” who are chronically exposed to the fungus.

Take Next Step On Food Hedging Plan

“We are thrilled that the G-20 is taking the issue of financial risk management (i.e., hedging) seriously. … The next step is to translate this vision into operational reality,” Ben Leo and Vijaya Ramachandran of the Center for Global Development write on the CGD’s “Global Development: Views from the Center”…