UN food chief: Billions needed to avert unrest, starvation
The head of the U.N. World Food Program is warning that without billions of dollars more to feed millions of hungry people, the world will see mass migration, destabilized countries, and starving children and adults in the next 12 to 18 months.
The AP Interview: UN food chief says Mariupol is starving
The head of the U.N.’s World Food Program says people are being “starved to death” in the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and he predicted the country’s humanitarian crisis is likely to worsen as Russia intensifies its assault in the coming weeks.
Ukraine war imperils wheat, but farmers in no rush to pivot
Farmers worldwide are weighing whether to change their planting patterns and grow more wheat this spring as Russia's war in Ukraine has choked off or thrown into question grain supplies from a region known as “the breadbasket of the world.”.
UN: Yemen conflict escalates as country speeds toward famine
FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2019 file photo, a malnourished newborn baby lies in an incubator at the Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. Beasley told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday, March 10, 2021, that conditions in war-wrecked Yemen are hell. U.S. President Joe Biden’s envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, last week urged the Houthis to agree to a cease-fire proposal. AdOn the humanitarian front, Yemen, which imports most of its food and other commodities, remains the world’s worst crisis. A U.N. pledging conference on March 1 raised a disappointing $1.7 billion, less than half of what aid agencies need this year, which means “we don’t have enough money to stop famine,” Lowcock said.
US resumes aid to Yemen's rebel north as famine threatens
(AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)The United States announced a resumption of aid to Yemen’s rebel-held north on Friday to fight a looming famine as the country’s nearly six-year-old war grinds on. U.N. officials warned that a blockade of fuel deliveries to a main port was heightening the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. AdThe war began when the Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of the north in 2014. AdThe Biden administration as of Friday will “cautiously resume” support to humanitarian groups working in Yemen’s north, said Sarah Charles, a senior official for humanitarian assistance at the U.S. AID. Beasley, the World Food Program chief, said the fuel shortages threatened to undermine what remains of Yemen's private sector and swell the numbers of Yemenis needing aid.
UN mandates South Sudan force to prevent return to civil war
FILE - In this Saturday, June 27, 2020 file photo, trainees parade with the wooden mock guns which they use to train with, during the visit of the defense minister to a military training center in Owiny Ki-Bul, Eastern Equatoria, South Sudan. The scale of violence in South Sudan is "a lot worse" than during the country's five-year civil war, a United Nations commission announced Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, accusing senior officials of supporting armed groups that at times have included tens of thousands of fighters. (AP Photo/Maura Ajak, File)CAMEROON – The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday to extend the almost 20,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, with a mandate “to advance a three-year strategic vision to prevent a return to civil war” and build peace both nationally and locally. The civil war has killed nearly 400,000 people and displaced millions, and the death toll keeps rising. And it condemned the mobilization of these armed groups by members of the government’s forces and by armed opposition groups.
UN appeals for $5.5 billion to avert famine for 34 million
(UNTV via AP)CAMEROON – Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made an urgent appeal Thursday for $5.5 billion to prevent a “catastrophe” for 34 million people in over three dozen countries who are just one step away from famine driven by conflict -- and the World Food Program chief warned that 270 million people are facing “a hunger crisis” this year. “So, today, I must warn you that we are once again sliding toward the brink of the abyss,” he said. “Now, 270 million people are facing a hunger crisis.”Both Guterres and Beasley stressed that the hunger crisis and looming famines are primarily driven by conflict and are entirely preventable. “Around half of all children under five -- 2.3 million -- are projected to face acute malnutrition in 2021. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said “acute malnutrition can trigger other risks, like gender-based violence or the exploitation and abuse of children."
'This is hell': UN food aid chief visits Yemen, fears famine
FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2019 file photo, a woman holds her malnourished boy at a feeding center at the Al-Sabeen Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. Beasley visited Yemen earlier this week, including the capital of Sanaa which is under the control of Iran-backed Houthi rebels. He said that at a child malnutrition ward in a Sanaa hospital he saw children wasting away from lack of food. A pledging conference last month raised a little more than half from the international community of what was needed to continue food aid services for the next year. AdOne source of funding for Yemen could be a new anonymous aid fund.
UN aid chief calls for Eritrean forces to leave Tigray
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield also urged Eritrean forces to leave. Thomas-Greenfield said after the council meeting that the United States “urges the Ethiopian government to support an immediate end to the fighting in Tigray” -- and that means “the prompt withdrawal of Eritrean forces” and forces from Tigray’s neighboring Amhara region. AdAccounts of atrocities against residents of Tigray were detailed in reports by The Associated Press and by Amnesty International. “We have identified at least 600,000 people who we know need help but who have not yet received any humanitarian aid whatsoever,” Lowcock said. Lowcock said Tigray may not be the only hot spot in Ethiopia.
UN: Over 2 million Yemeni children may starve in 2021
On Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, the United Nations is sounding the alarm over projections that more than 2 million Yemeni children are facing starvation this year. Compounding the crisis, around 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women in Yemen are also projected to be acutely malnourished this year. Ad“The crisis in Yemen is a toxic mix of conflict, economic collapse and a severe shortage of funding," Beasley explained. UNICEF estimates that virtually all of Yemen’s 12 million children require some sort of assistance. “Malnourished children are more vulnerable to diseases ...
Bezos and Bloomberg among top 50 US charity donors for 2020
Bezos is one of the 50 Americans who gave the most to charity in 2020, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropys annual rankings. “There has been change building among private donors.”All told, the 50 biggest donors contributed $24.7 billion in 2020, compared with $15.8 billion in 2019. The $1 billion-plus of giving by each of the top five on the Philanthropy 50 matches last year’s record. No more than three donors gave $1 billion or more in any of the previous years. Colleges and universities received $2.2 billion from Philanthropy 50 donors in 2020.
Nobel ceremonies go low-key this year because of coronavirus
In this Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, photo provided by Nobel Prize Outreach, Louise Glck stands beside the medal awarded to her for the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature outside her home in Cambridge, Mass. The pomp and ceremony of the Nobel prize ceremonies were altered this year amid measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (Daniel Ebersole/ Nobel Prize Outreach via AP)STOCKHOLM – The pomp and ceremony of the Nobel prize ceremonies have been reined in this year amid measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Instead, their achievements will be recognized and rewarded at low-key ceremonies where they live and work in Europe and the United States. A Nobel prize comes with a 10-milion krona ($1.1 million) cash award — to be shared in some cases — diplomas and gold medals.
2020 Nobel Peace ceremony won't be held in person in Oslo
COPENHAGEN – The winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize — the World Food Program — and the Norwegian Nobel Committee said Wednesday they have jointly agreed to postpone the in-person award ceremony in Oslo next month because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony usually is held at Oslo City Hall. Now, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is planning "a digital award ceremony where the WFP will be presented with the medal and diploma.” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also expected to attend the virtual forum. Earlier this month, the Norwegian government had granted an exemption from its two-week quarantine requirement for arriving visitors so representatives from the winner of the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize could attend the award ceremony in Oslo. He called the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize “an important event of great national and international interest.”“We want to make it easy for the prize winner to be physically present this year as well.
Nobel UN food agency warns 2021 will be worse than 2020
“We were able to avert it in 2020 ... because the world leaders responded with money, stimulus packages, deferral of debt,” he said. “I’m telling them you’re not going to have enough money to fund all the projects you historically fund,” he said. “If I could get that coupled with our normal money, then we avert famine around the world” and minimize destabilization as well as migration. “There’s about three dozen countries that could possibly enter the famine conditions if we don’t have the money we need,” Beasley said. Beasley said a COVID-19 vaccine “will create some optimism that hopefully will help jump the economies around the world, particularly the Western economies.
WFP chief seeks million from donors, billionaires for food
World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley speaks to the media about the organization's Nobel Peace Prize win, at the airport in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, late Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)TANZANIA – Even before COVID-19 became an issue, World Food Program chief David Beasley was warning global leaders that the world would face the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II in 2020. Then came COVID-19 which quickly became a pandemic that has swept the world, escalating the need for food — and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says it is still not under control. “Every one of the 690 million hungry people in the world today has the right to live peacefully and without hunger,” Beasley said in a statement on the WFP website. “Today, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has turned the global spotlight on them and on the devastating consequences of conflict.
WFP chief: Nobel Prize message to world not to forget Sahel
World Food Program (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley speaks to the media about the organization's Nobel Peace Prize win, at the airport in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, late Friday, Oct. 9, 2020. The World Food Program won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for fighting hunger and seeking to end its use as "a weapon of war and conflict" at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has driven millions more people to the brink of starvation. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)OUAGADOUGOU – The head of the World Food Program said winning the Nobel Peace Prize while he was visiting the impoverished and war-weakened Sahel was a message to the world that it should not forget the region. “The fact that I was in the Sahel when we received the announcement is really a message from above that, hey world with all the things going on around the world today please don’t forget about the people in the Sahel!" “We can avert famine in Burkina Faso but we’ve got to have two things, money and access.
World Food Program wins Nobel Peace Prize for hunger fight
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2015 file photo, a child carries a parcel from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) in Mwenezi, Zimbabwe. The WFP has won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity around the globe. The announcement was made Friday Oct. 9, 2020 in Oslo by Berit Reiss-Andersen, the chair of the Nobel Committee. “The World Food Program works at the intersection of those two problems (and) it's going to face an increasing workload in the coming years." Some, however, noted that the World Food Program’s top donors are also major food exporters and often involved in the sale of arms to conflict zones where the agency works, from Afghanistan to Yemen.
UN food chief urges rich to help keep millions from starving
In this Nov. 14, 2008, file photo, a woman receives a bag of maize meal from the World Food Program in the town of Rutshuru, eastern Congo. The World Food Program chief warned Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, that millions of people are closer to starvation because of the deadly combination of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and he urged donor nations and billionaires to help feed them and ensure their survival. (AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)TANZANIA – The World Food Program chief warned Thursday that millions of people are closer to starvation because of the deadly combination of conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic and he urged donor nations and billionaires to help feed them and ensure their survival. And in Nigeria and South Sudan, millions more people have become food insecure because of the pandemic, he said. He said WFP needs $4.9 billion to feed 30 million people who will die without the program's assistance for a year.
The Latest: U of Colorado shifting students for virus cases
India's coronavirus cases jumped by another 96,424 in the past 24 hours, showing little sign of leveling. The announcement came as the university reported 130 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 671 cases since classes began about a month ago. Little says Idaho residents have done well in their precautions, such as wearing face coverings, but virus infections have continued. John Hopkins University says that through Thursday, Idaho had more than 36,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 434 deaths. That tally raised the state’s rolling average number of daily new confirmed coronavirus cases to 726, more than double 381 just one week ago.
FM says Germany ready to help Lebanon but reforms necessary
Maas said that Lebanon needs a "strong reboot" and far-reaching economic reforms to rebuild trust with its citizens. Heiko Maas spoke ahead of his trip to Beirut, following last week's explosion at the city's port that killed at least 171 people and wounded thousands. (Dalati Nohra via AP)BEIRUT Germany stands ready to help Lebanon with reconstruction and further investment after last week's massive explosion, but any support will be linked to economic reforms and an end to pervasive corruption in Lebanon, Germany's foreign minister said Wednesday. Ahead of his arrival in Beirut, Maas said Lebanon needs a strong reboot and far-reaching economic reforms to rebuild trust with its citizens. I think everyone in Lebanon has to recognize that things cannot continue like this, this country needs big reforms, he said.
Virus pushes millions into hunger; UN seeks more food funds
For many residents the "community pot" is their only defense against a hunger that's become a constant feature of life amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)JOHANNESBURG Millions of people have been pushed into hunger by the coronavirus pandemic, the U.N. World Food Program said Monday as it appealed for nearly $5 billion to help feed the growing numbers in poor and middle-income countries. The frontline in the battle against the coronavirus is shifting from the rich world to the poor world, said David Beasley, WFPs executive director. Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos." Coronavirus infection levels are climbing when food stocks in some parts of the world are already low.
UN: Virus could push 14 million into hunger in Latin America
We are entering a very complicated stage, said Miguel Barreto, the WFPs regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. The escalating hunger comes as the COVID-19 pandemic increasingly ravages Latin America. The new estimates for Latin America indicate the region will be especially hard hit. In Haiti, hunger could more than double, from 700,000 to 1.6 million. Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to see a 5.3% economic contraction this year, possibly a sharper drop than during the Great Depression.