The European Commission’s humanitarian aid department warned Thursday that West Africa’s Sahel belt could face famine this year, with millions potentially affected, Reuters reports (John, 1/29). “We are already into what looks like a period of extreme vulnerability and extreme difficulty for the most disadvantaged of the population,” according to Brian O’Neill, regional sector head of European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), Agence France-Presse writes.
Food Security and Nutrition
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing Examines Aid To Haiti, Rebuilding; Senators Introduce Legislation
At a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on Thursday and in a “separate teleconference by relief organizations,” officials said international aid to Haiti has been delayed by the “island nation’s inept government, a lack of coordination by aid organizations and the legacy of past U.S. policy failures,” McClatchy/Miami Herald reports.
Also In Global Health News: Pakistan Agriculture; U.K.’s Food Security Efforts; Clinton Addresses Yemen; Hunger In Niger; WB Head In Africa
U.S. To Support Agricultural Technology Projects In Pakistan Bryan Hunt, the U.S. consulate general in Lahore, Pakistan, said Wednesday that the U.S. would help Pakistan with the development of agriculture technology aimed at boosting farmers’ productivity, the Nation reports. Hunt said agriculture technology is vital for increasing food security. “He…
Also In Global Health News: Pakistan’s Farm Land; PMTCT In Kenya; Burkina Faso’s Maternal Health; Health Care Access In Middle East
Pakistan Moves Forward On Plans To Sell Farmland To Foreign Investors Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Tuesday the country plans to sell farmland to foreign investors despite warnings by the U.N. that doing so could compromise farmers’ rights, Reuters reports. Qureshi defended the government’s decision, saying that the…
ICRC AppealsÂ For Attention To Yemen’s Growing Humanitarian Crisis The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday appealed to countries participating in an international conference on Yemen’s threat to global security this week in London to also discuss the deepening humanitarian crisis the country is facing, the Associated Press/Taiwan…
At a meeting in Montreal, Canada, on Monday, international donors noted concerns, but agreed to a 10-year reconstruction plan to rebuild Haiti, the New York Times reports. “Given Haitiâ€™s long history of mismanagement of funds, international donors were hesitant to write a blank check. And foreign governments had concerns as well about the governmentâ€™s ability to direct a large reconstruction project after most government buildings were flattened or severely damaged in the Jan. 12 quake,” the newspaper writes (Lacey/Thompson, 1/25).
In his second annual letter, Bill Gates reflects on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work and the importance innovation will play in overcoming some of the world’s greatest challenges, including in global health and agriculture, the Associated Press/Wall Street Journal reports. “Gates says the foundation currently is backing 30 areas of innovation including online learning, teacher improvement, malaria vaccine development, HIV prevention, and genetically modified seeds,” according to the news service (1/25).
Twenty Nations Meet In Montreal To Discuss Haiti Recovery; Haitian Officials Increase Port-Au-Prince Death Toll Estimate
Officials from 20 countries are meeting in Montreal, Canada, Monday “to discuss long-term reconstruction and arrangements for a donor conference to be held in March,” the U.N. said, Bloomberg/BusinessWeek reports (Gaouette/Craze, 1/25). “U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and others will examine eventual debt forgiveness and” a strategy for rebuilding Haiti at the one-day gathering, according to Reuters (Palmer, 1/25).
A new report highlights challenges facing the Obama administration in Africa, including HIV/AIDS, poverty and climate change, VOA News reports. The report, published jointly by Africa Action and Foreign Policy in Focus, notes despite the recent success of programs such as PEPFAR, funding for the program has not increased at levels seen in previous years, the news service writes.
Nine days after a major earthquake struck, “deeply needed aid streamed into Haiti’s ravaged capital in quantities that relief agencies said is a clear sign of progress,” the Miami Herald reports. Roads have been cleared, additional food and water distribution points are available and some new medical clinics are open.