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World Food Program Plans To Begin Airlifts To Somalia This Week

The World Food Program (WFP) has said it plans to begin food airlifts by Thursday “to parts of drought-ravaged Somalia that militants banned it from more than two years ago,” the Associated Press reports. The agency plans to send five tons of high-energy bars by air with more food to follow by land, the news agency notes (Straziuso, 7/25).

Somalia's Famine Is An 'Act Of Mass Murder'

In his latest Foreign Policy column, Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, argues that famine is a crime. Famines “don’t happen any more in any country where leaders show the slightest interest in the wellbeing of their citizenry. … In order to ensure widespread death by starvation, a governing authority must make a conscious decision: it must actively exercise the power to take food from producers who need it or deny food assistance to victims,” he writes.

Guidance Needed On Recent HIV Prevention Findings

“In the absence of the anticipated guidance from WHO, the euphoria felt by participants at Rome that the latest science can allow us for the first time to consider eliminating HIV was tempered by utter confusion among program managers as to what to do next,” Nathan Ford, medical coordinator for…

U.N. Emergency Meeting Recognizes Need For Urgent Response To Horn Of Africa Drought

At an emergency meeting at the Rome headquarters of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Monday, the agency announced “there will be a donors pledging conference Wednesday in Nairobi to raise as much as $1.6 billion to help fight famine in Somalia and other drought-stricken populations in East Africa,” the Associated Press/Forbes reports (7/25). Prior to the meeting, the World Bank “announced it is providing more than $500 million to assist drought victims, in addition to $12 million in immediate assistance to help those worst hit by the crisis,” a World Bank press release states (7/25).

WHO Appoints Envoy For Patient Safety

With the risk of acquiring an infection or dying in a hospital far greater than flying on an airplane, the WHO on Wednesday announced the appointment of Sir Liam Donaldson, formerly Britain’s chief medical officer, as its envoy for patient safety, PostMedia News/Vancouver Sun reports (Edwards, 7/22).

IRIN Reports On Challenges To Fighting Child Malnutrition In Nepal

IRIN examines the “silent epidemic” of child malnutrition in Nepal, where nearly half of all children under five have stunted growth and 13 percent of children over six months and under five years old have moderate or severe acute malnutrition under a measurement known as global acute malnutrition (GAM).

U.N. Increases Humanitarian Aid Need To $7.9B For 2011

The U.N. on Wednesday said during a donor meeting in Geneva that “it needs $7.9 billion this year, $500 million more than it had originally sought, to fund relief operations in the face of spreading humanitarian crises in Africa and Asia,” Reuters reports (7/20).