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Posts Tagged ‘WFP’

Drought and Deluge: 900,000 Sri Lankans Face Famine

Posted by feww on June 22, 2017

Sri Lanka’s Food Production Hit by Extreme Events

Growing food insecurity: Rice production to drop by 40 percent in 2017

Extreme drought followed by floods in Sri Lanka has hit large swaths of cropping areas, threatening the food security of more than 900,000 people in Sri Lanka, said a joint report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN World Food Program (WFP).

Drought conditions in 2016 and early 2017 led to widespread crop failures, especially the rice paddy – the country’s staple food. Total paddy production in 2017 is forecast at 2.7 million tons, about 40 percent less than the last year’s output.

Other crops, including various pulses, chillies and onion, which rely mainly on rainwater, were also heavily damaged by the dry weather, increasing food insecurity, said the report.

The situation was exacerbated by subsequent heavy rainfalls in May. Floods and landslides in the south-western parts of the country caused deaths, large population displacements and damage to infrastructure. The rains did not ease the water supply constraints in the drought-impacted north-central and eastern parts of the country.

 

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – Feb. 17, 2016

Posted by feww on February 17, 2016

One million children require treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa: UNICEF

Two years of erratic rain and drought have left about one million children in need of treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Eastern and Southern Africa, UNICEF said today.

Across the region, millions of children are at risk from hunger, water shortages and disease. It is a situation aggravated by rising food prices, forcing families to implement drastic coping mechanisms such as skipping meals and selling off assets.

States of disaster have been declared in Lesotho, Zimbabwe and most provinces in South Africa due to the growing resource shortages.

“In Ethiopia, the number of people in need of food assistance is expected to increase from over 10 million to 18 million.”

UNICEF says:

  • In Ethiopia, two seasons of failed rains mean that near on six million children currently require food assistance, with school absenteeism increasing as children are forced to walk greater distances in search of water;
  • In Somalia, more than two thirds of those in urgent need of assistance are displaced populations;
  • In Kenya, El Niño related heavy rains and floods are aggravating cholera outbreaks;
  • In Lesotho, one quarter of the population are affected. This aggravates grave circumstances for a country in which 34% of children are orphans, 57% of people live below the poverty line, and almost one in four adults live with HIV/Aids;
  • In Zimbabwe, an estimated 2.8 million people are facing food and nutrition insecurity. The drought situation has resulted in reduced water yields from the few functioning boreholes exacerbating the risk to water-borne diseases, especially diarrhea and cholera;
  • Malawi is facing the worst food crisis in nine years, with 2.8 million people (more than 15 per cent of the population) at risk of hunger; cases of severe acute malnutrition have just jumped by 100% in just two months, from December 2015 to January 2016;
  • In Angola, an estimated 1.4 million people are affected by extreme weather conditions and 800,000 people are facing food insecurity, mainly in the semi-arid southern provinces.

Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) said up to 49 million people in southern Africa.

“It is estimated that 40 million rural people and 9 million poor urban people who live in drought-affected areas could be exposed,” the WFP said on Monday.

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14 Million Face Hunger in Southern Africa

Posted by feww on January 18, 2016

Southern Africa’s planting window closes with little or no prospect of rain

About 14 million people in southern Africa are facing hunger after a poor harvest last year caused by prolonged periods of drought.

The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) says it is increasingly concerned about food security for an estimated 14 million people in southern Africa after prolonged periods of drought led to a poor harvest in 2015.

The window for the planting of cereals is closing rapidly, or already closed in some countries, with little or no rain falling in many areas, and the outlook is alarming, said WFP.

“Driving through southern Zambia, I saw fields of crops severely stressed from lack of water and met farmers who are struggling to cope with a second season of erratic rains,” said WFP Executive Director who recently visited to drought-prone southern Zambia. “Zambia is one of the biggest breadbaskets in the region and what’s happening there gives serious cause for concern not only for Zambia itself but all countries in the region.”

Worst affected in the region by last year’s poor rains are Malawi (2.8 million people facing hunger), Madagascar (nearly 1.9 million people) and Zimbabwe (1.5 million) where last year’s harvest was reduced by half compared to the previous year because of massive crop failure.

In Lesotho, the government last month declared a drought emergency and some 650,000 people – one third of the population – do not have enough food. In Lesotho as elsewhere, water is in extremely short supply for both crops and livestock. Also causing concern are Angola, Mozambique and Swaziland.

Food prices across southern Africa have been rising due to reduced production and availability. The price of maize – the staple for most of the region – is 73 percent higher in Malawi than the three-year average for this time of year.

“One particularly worrying symptom of southern Africa’s vulnerability to food and nutrition security is the alarming rate of chronic malnutrition. Levels of stunting among children in Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia are among the worst in the world. This affects children’s physical growth, cognitive development, as well as their future health and productivity,” said the report.

 

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UN planning to feed the world?

Posted by feww on May 1, 2008

UN to draw up comprehensive plan to address world food crisis

30 April 2008 – UN News Center– The United Nations is aiming to have a comprehensive plan to tackle the global food crisis in place by the beginning of June, “around which the institutions and leaders around the world can coalesce,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes said today.

Mr. Holmes is one of two coordinators, along with UN System Influenza Coordinator David Nabarro, of a new high-powered task force that was announced yesterday by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to organize responses to the global rise in food prices.

Speaking at a news conference today in Geneva, Mr. Holmes said that although the breadth and complexity of the issue needed to be recognized, there was no need to panic. “I think it is clear we can fix these problems. The solutions can be found; the solutions are there. They are very difficult, some of them, in the short term, but they can be done.”


The United Nations Office [Palace?] at Geneva (UNOG) is the representative office of the United Nations in Geneva. More than 1,600 super-privileged front-row individuals handsomely “earn their keep” here!

On the role of biofuel production in the current crisis, Mr. Holmes said: “It is something that needs a new look in present circumstances without wanting to fall in any sense into knee-jerk reactions of saying all biofuels are bad or good. We need to look at it in a careful, sophisticated and differentiated way, between different regions of the world and between different products.”

The Under-Secretary-General also said the crisis was not affecting every country in the same way. “For many countries and population groups it is inconvenient, a problem for their daily budget and their purses, but it is not a matter of life and death. In some places and for some groups, particularly those living on less than a dollar a day, that quickly could become a matter of life and death, or certainly of increased suffering and malnutrition.”

The UN’s action plan is to be in place in time for a meeting of UN agencies in Rome at the beginning of June. The task force is chaired by Mr. Ban and consists of the heads of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Trade Organization (WTO), and other organizations which will be invited to join.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Can the world’s poor sue Ban ki-moon, John Holmes and the rest of their lot if they don’t deliver?

Posted in Climate Change, environment, food, food riots, food shortages, Global Warming, health, malnourished, politics, poor | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »