UNICEF Appeals for Funds for Overlooked Emergencies

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has appealed for US$1 billion to respond to overlooked emergencies that it said are causing worsening hunger, disease and poverty for women and children, especially in Africa.

UNICEF’s Ann Veneman points out that the agency needs 17 percent more money in 2009 than last year because of increased needs in eastern and southern Africa.

Veneman states this money will also help the organisation in its efforts to deal with cholera and flood fears, which compound an economic crisis.

WFP to Double Food Aid to Zimbabwe

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has announced that it will double the number of Zimbabweans it feeds because of the famine in the impoverished African country.

WFP spokesperson, Emilia Casella, points out that: "What's particularly concerning is that there is currently no food in the pipeline for Zimbabwe in January and February."

Food Summit Underway in Cape Town

Malnutrition will be among main issues for discussion at the 30th Session of the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses currently underway in Cape Town.

The five day conference is aimed at thrashing out ideas, discussing new studies and drafting international nutritional guidelines. Specialists hope to find a worldwide guideline for good nutrition standards for all foods, especially for famine stricken countries.One of the big problem areas remains malnutrition in poor countries around the world.

Lessons From the Food Crisis

Small farmers in developing countries have not benefited from higher food prices, thanks in part to flawed trade and agricultural policies that have made them vulnerable and weakened their positions in markets, said international agency Oxfam in a new report released on 16 October 2008, World Food Day.

Rich Nations Reneging Over Aid - Annan

Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has accused the rich countries of reneging on promises to help feed the world’s hungry.

Speaking on World Food Day, Annan appealed to wealthy nations not to use the global financial crisis as a pretext for not meeting their commitments.  Annan warned that over 10 000 children are dying from malnutrition each day.

His comments are echoed by aid agency Oxfam, which estimates that more than 900 million people are facing starvation because of soaring prices.


EU Donates €15 Million Food Aid to East Africa

The European Commission (EU) has announced €15 million of emergency food aid for victims of drought and soaring food prices in five east African countries.

EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Louis Michel, points out that: "In some parts of the world, a major catastrophe is brewing because growing numbers of people don’t have enough food to survive."

"The Commission has responded to these urgent needs by dramatically increasing its food assistance to the most vulnerable", says Michel.

South Africa Faces a Human Emergency

The state of the nation is not simply about how the economy is doing, or how strong our currency is. The state of the nation is about how well the people of South Africa are doing.  Are they able to live with dignity, feed their children, meet their basic needs and access employment, education and health care? According to the views expressed during the poverty hearings, our state of the nation is dire. Communities are crippled by poverty. It is a state of emergency.

The European Social Model: Which Benefits for South Africa and Africa

The French Institute of South Africa, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) are hosting a one-day conference entitled "The European Social Model: Which Benefits for South Africa and Africa".

Initiated through a French-German partnership the conference is aimed at fostering open debates on future perspectives of the European socio-economic development and its benefits for South Africa and Africa.

The three panels of the conference are

Poverty Hearings: Speak Out About Poverty

Archbishop Njonkonkulu Ndungane has called upon South Africans to stand up against poverty. Speaking during the Gauteng round of national poverty hearings in Johannesburg on 12 September, Ndungane said: “We came here to listen to your problems.”

The poverty hearings, which have been held in four other provinces over the last two months, provide the opportunity for the poor to speak about their experiences of poverty.


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