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Ukraine war increases U.N. food agency’s costs in hunger-hit West Africa

Ukraine war increases U.N. food agency’s costs in hunger-hit West Africa

OPERATIONAL costs of the United Nation's World Food Programme (WFP) will increase by $136 million in West Africa this year because of the global rise in food and fuel prices driven by the war in Ukraine, the agency said. The additional costs will hamper attempts to relieve a spiralling food crisis in the region fuelled by conflict, drought, pandemic-linked border closures and the impact of Ukraine's crisis on food prices and availability. The WFP was already struggling to expand its response to an "unprecedented food and nutrition crisis" in West Africa, and was forced to cut rations in seven countries…
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Are warnings of a COVID-19 famine in Africa overblown?

Are warnings of a COVID-19 famine in Africa overblown?

OBI ANYADIKE ALARM bells have been ringing for months that COVID-19 could push fragile African countries “closer to the abyss” of famine as jobs are lost, local markets close, and poverty deepens.  Aid agencies routinely list the coronavirus as a major factor in driving humanitarian needs, from the Sahel to Somalia, and don’t shy away from describing its impact as the “perfect storm”. A joint report in July by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) calculated that COVID-19 could create an additional 121 million hungry people globally by the end of the year – mostly in 15 already crisis-affected African countries.  But…
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U.N. agency says 41 million on verge of famine

U.N. agency says 41 million on verge of famine

MAYTAAL ANGEL  SOME 41 million people worldwide are at imminent risk of famine, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) warned on Tuesday, saying soaring prices for basic foods were compounding existing pressures on food security. Another half a million are already experiencing famine-like conditions, said the WFP's Executive Director David Beasley. "We now have four countries where famine-like conditions are present. Meanwhile 41 million people are literally knocking on famine's door," he said. The WFP, which is funded entirely by voluntary donations, said it needs to raise $6 billion immediately to reach those at risk, in 43 countries. "We…
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Insurgency in Mozambique threatens food security

Insurgency in Mozambique threatens food security

WORSENING violence by militants with links to Islamic State in northern Mozambique are causing thousands to go hungry as they flee their homes and abandon farms, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) has warned. Militant attacks in gas-rich Cabo Delgado province, near the border with Tanzania, began in 2017. The violence has gathered pace in 2020, with insurgents seizing key towns for brief periods and hitting military and other key targets. Operations and pitched battles in the region's remote villages between government forces and insurgents have often led to civilian casualties and destruction of infrastructure, with dozens of schools and…
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WFP to procure 200,000 tonnes of wheat for Sudan in 2021

WFP to procure 200,000 tonnes of wheat for Sudan in 2021

THE World Food Programme will procure 200,000 tonnes of wheat for Sudan in 2021, in the second year of a programme that allows the country to help prevent shortages while preserving precious foreign currency reserves, a WFP official told Reuters. The system agreed with the WFP last year allows Sudan to reimburse the organization for the wheat in local currency, and aims to help reduce the impact of frequent shortages of wheat, which have become common as Sudan suffers a protracted economic crisis. "We did that last year, just about 200,000 tonnes, and they've asked us to do the same…
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UN agency seeks extra $204 million for Zimbabwe as hunger bites

UN agency seeks extra $204 million for Zimbabwe as hunger bites

THE United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has appealed for an additional $204 million to support four million of the most food-insecure Zimbabweans for the next six months. Drought in 2019 and this year has left millions facing hunger. That includes about one-third of the rural population, who are expected to face "crisis" or "emergency" levels of hunger, and 2.3 million hungry urban dwellers, WFP said. An economic recession during the past two years has compounded the problem for the country of 15 million people. "We are deeply concerned that if WFP does not receive enough funding to reach the…
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