Archives for posts with tag: WFP

South Sudanese Refugees Flooding into Ethiopia

Rainy season approaching & fighting for political power between Salva Kiir & Riek Machar have compounded dire situation for South Sudanese people. UNSG Ban Ki-moon urges immediate help for South Sudan, Central African Republic, & Syria where a million people could be at risk of hunger & malnutrition.

UN Officials Appeal for Urgent Funding for Relief Operations in Sudan & South Sudan

Malnutrition, food insecurity, onset of rainy season exacerbate dire humanitarian situation. Children suffer most. With so many crises around world, Darfur is not getting the attention or global funding that it deserves.

International Day of Happiness in Central African Republic (CAR)?

With the smile on this mother’s face as she picks up food rations, one cannot imagine the truly dire situation there. (see my earlier post on Facebook wall today) Says WFP: “The entire population, not only the displaced, is affected & live in a precarious food situation. People of CAR particularly women & children need us now. We must act before rains exacerbate tragic situation & pictures of skeletal, severely underweight children document our failure & neglect.”

Food Airlifts Begin in CAR Amidst Worsening Security

Ethnic religious cleansing could lead to a full-scale food & security crisis. Success of the planting season could be a critical turning point where around 75 % of the population rely on small-scale agriculture for food & income.

UN & Partners Launch New Project to Prevent Stunting Among Children in Malawi

Undernourished children are more likely to have low educational grades than healthy children, making them less qualified for work, and reducing their income-earning potential in adulthood.

Central African Republic: Over 6,000 Child Soldiers May Be Involved in Fighting

According to UNICEF, recruitment is happening on all sides, with reasons including poverty, despair, desire for revenge, & general lack of options for children, & there have been many reports of girls being used as sex slaves.

Unicef Urges Action to Protect Child Deaths from Malnutrition in CAR

In CAR, the youngest are most at risk in conflict. Crop production has decreased sharply, & food insecurity will have serious impact on nutrition status of children & women, UNHCR noted.

Typhoon Haiyan is a clarion call for urgency at opening of UN Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland. Newly elected President of COP-19, Polish Environment Minister Marcin Korolec, noted climate is a global issue, global problem & global opportunity.


The clock is ticking toward 2015 to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. Topping the list is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Hunger and malnutrition are today’s biggest health risks. With nearly one billion people worldwide going to bed hungry each night, awareness campaigns and commitments are necessary to end hunger. Spillover benefits in turn will foster better health, education, and sustainability to empower families, women, and children.

The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) and US designer Michael Kors have now partnered in an awareness campaign throughout the fashion industry to fight hunger. That the announcement came today, 4 February, is appropriate as Fashion Week begins in New York, February 7 -14.

Utilizing popular culture — music, film, art, fashion —  is an effective medium to engage the masses via social media and beyond. Michael Kors capitalized his social media channels to promote a public service announcement with Bette Midler, Seth Myers, and Olivia Munn and broadened the runway of celebrity activists.

An innovative launch will commence in March for Kor’s fashion brand unisex watches as part of its “Watch Hunger Stop” campaign, with each watch sold feeding 10 hungry children.

UN News Centre Source

4 February 2013 – The United Nations food relief agency announced a new partnership with United States designer Michael Kors to raise awareness of global hunger throughout the fashion community and beyond.

“I am so proud to be joining the World Food Programme (WFP) in one of the greatest global fights of our time – the battle to end hunger,” Mr. Kors said.

“Millions of people all over the world are struggling to feed themselves, and their families, every day. I want to lend my voice and my efforts to this international cause.”

Mr. Kors, who this year announced global hunger would be at the centre of his philanthropic efforts, will support WFP through a series of awareness-focused campaigns, special events and limited-edition fundraising products created by his namesake company.

“We look forward to working with Michael Kors. Together, we will generate more attention as well as much-needed resources in support of WFP’s efforts to end world hunger,” WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said in a news release.

A public service announcement was released across Michael Kors’ social media channels last week featuring notable figures from fashion, music and film, including singer-songwriter and actress Bette Midler, comedian Seth Myers and actress Olivia Munn, highlighting statistics on global hunger.

In March, Mr. Kors’ fashion brand will launch two unisex watch styles for its “Watch Hunger Stop” campaign. Each watch sold will allow WFP to feed 100 children. There will also be a text-to-donate initiative as another way for individuals to support the campaign.

According to WFP, one in eight people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life, making hunger and malnutrition the number one risk to health worldwide – greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.

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The Syrian civilian situation within Syria and outlying refugee camps remains and escalates beyond bleak. Simply put, there is not enough food and fuel to go around as winter rains and heavy flooding decimate refugee camps. Fighting broke out in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan as desperate civilians battled the cold, hunger, and fatigue. The World Food Programme  (WFP) estimates 2.5 needing assistance, but is only able to feed one and a half million people. That means one million people will go to bed in a makeshift tent cold and hungry. Fuel shortages have made it difficult to operate baking ovens, and even the cost of bread has escalated.

UN News Centre Sources

“WFP is unable to scale up assistance due to lack of implementing partners and challenges reaching the hardest hit areas,” a spokesperson for the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Elizabeth Byrs, told a news briefing in Geneva. “Where fighting is taking place food prices have reportedly doubled and there is a lack of cooking gas,” she added.

Ms. Byrs noted that, overall, WFP is reaching around 1.5 million people each month with its supplies, and it estimates that 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance. In November, the distribution cycle had provided aid to 1.4 million people, slightly less than the target due to poor security conditions; the December distribution cycle was still underway, so accurate figures were not yet available.

More than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in early 2011. Recent months have witnessed an escalation in the conflict, which is now in its 23rd month.  The security situation’s deterioration has led WFP to temporarily relocate its staff from its sub-offices in the cities of Homs, Aleppo, Tartous and Qamisl.

According to UN estimates, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance inside the country quadrupled between March 2012 and December 2012, from one million to four million. UN humanitarian aid planning estimates that up to a million Syrian refugees will need help during the first half of 2013, with most of these located in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and Egypt.

Despite a request last October from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) to increase the number of beneficiaries from 1.5 million to 2.5 million, WFP was unable to further scale up its assistance due to the lack of implementing partners on the ground and challenges reaching some of the country’s hardest hit areas. Its main partner – SARC – was overstretched and had no more capacity to expand further; WFP is seeking further partners on the ground to assist with its operations.

In the city of Aleppo, the majority of the population was depending on private bakeries where the price of one kilogram of bread, if available at all, had reached 250 Syrian pounds – the highest in the country – and 40 to 50 per cent higher compared to other governorates, according to WFP. Ms. Byrs also highlighted that while donors have already provided WFP with around $117 million for its activities in Syria, it needs an additional $136 million to continue feeding 1.5 million people until June this year.

With thousands more Syrians seeking safety in neighbouring countries, the UN agency is also responding to the food needs of refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey with food distribution.

Elsewhere, the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, has continued holding meetings in the region and elsewhere, as part of his efforts to bring about a negotiated, political solution to end the Syrian conflict. He was expected to meet with Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday evening.  Mr. Brahimi has repeatedly stated his belief in a political solution to the crisis in Syria – with the so-called ‘Geneva communiqué’ providing the basis for a peace process.

The ‘Geneva communiqué’ was issued after a meeting in the Swiss city of the Action Group for Syria, and it lays out key steps in a process to end the violence in Syria. Amongst other items, it calls for the establishment of a transitional governing body, with full executive powers and made up by members of the present Government and the opposition and other groups, as part of agreed principles and guidelines for a Syrian-led political transition.

The Action Group is made up of the Secretaries-General of the UN and the League of Arab States; the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the Security Council – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States – as well as the Turkish Foreign Minister; the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; and the Foreign Ministers of Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar, in their respective roles related to the Arab League.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Damascus Woman Receiving Emergency Rations from WFP  (WFP/Abeer Etefa)