tagged w/ Malnutrition
Millions of people are locked in a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. Poverty means parents can't feed their families enough nutritious food, leaving children malnourished. Malnutrition leads to irreversibly stunted development and shorter, less productive lives. Less productive lives mean no escape from poverty. We have to break this cycle.
That's why we're urgently calling on the G8 to break the cycle of hunger and poverty, tackling their root causes. No child should have to go to bed hungry tonight. And if we achieve our goals by 2015, we could see 15 million fewer children chronically malnourished and 50 million people lifted out of extreme poverty.
Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi consistently cut effective aid to Africa since he personally promised to support the fight against poverty in 2005. Those cuts can cost real lives around the world.
In just weeks some of the world's most powerful political leaders will meet at Camp David in the United States to discuss their vision for the future. We need to make sure agriculture, world hunger, the vital fight against extreme poverty around the globe are a part of that discussion, and ensure they don't follow Berlusconi's devastating example and actually stick to the promises they make!Millions of people are locked in a vicious cycle of hunger and poverty. Poverty means... more
One young child in four around the world is too malnourished to grow properly, a major new investigation reveals
A quarter of young children around the world are not getting enough nutrients to grow properly, and 300 die of malnutrition every hour, according to a new report that lays bare the effects of the global food crisis.
There are 170 million children aged under five whose development has been stunted by malnutrition because of lack of food for them and their breastfeeding mothers, and the situation is getting significantly worse, according to research by the charity Save the Children.
In Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Peru and Nigeria – countries which are the home of half of the world's stunted children – recent rises in global food prices are forcing the parents of malnourished children to cut back on food and pull children out of school to work.
According to the report, A Life Free from Hunger: Tackling Child Malnutrition, a third of parents surveyed said their children routinely complain they do not have enough to eat. One in six parents can never afford to buy meat, milk or vegetables. It suggests that six out of 10 children in Afghanistan are not getting enough nutrients to avoid stunted growth.
(much more and a video at link)One young child in four around the world is too malnourished to grow properly, a major... more
This week, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has sent medical teams and four charter planes carrying 55 tons of medical equipment, medicines and therapeutic food to Mogadishu in response to the crisis in Somalia. In the past weeks, an estimated 100,000 people have fled from south and central Somalia to the capital to seek assistance. They are settling in numerous camps in and around Mogadishu, with little or no access to health care.
MSF has started measles vaccination campaigns in dozens of makeshift camps where thousands of people have gathered after fleeing the exceptional drought and the violence in other parts of the country. Almost 3,000 children were vaccinated so far. Of the nearly 1,000 children screened for malnutrition, more than half were malnourished.
“MSF is extremely worried about the situation of the displaced. The situation is critical. MSF has begun reinforcing its operations in Mogadishu and is assessing areas around the capital in order to adequately respond to this crisis,” said Dr. Unni Karunakara, International President of MSF.
Through a mobile clinic, MSF staff started to provide medical care to around 100 patients daily. The teams are also distributing of relief items, such as hygiene materials and plastic sheeting for temporary shelter.
For years MSF has been providing medical care in the capital, through health facilities in Daynile and Darkheley where more than 370 medical consultations were provided last week. To address the increasing medical needs, MSF will open inpatient therapeutic feeding centers, a measles treatment unit as well as a 50-bed cholera treatment center in Mogadishu in the coming days.
MSF has worked continuously in Somalia since 1991 and currently provides free medical care in eight regions. Over 1,400 Somali staff, supported by approximately 100 staff in Nairobi, provide free primary healthcare, surgery, treatment for malnutrition, as well as support to displaced people through health care, water supply and relief items distributions in nine locations in south and central Somalia.
MSF is also providing medical care to Somali refugees in Kenya (Dagahaley and Ifo camps) and Ethiopia (Liben). In Dagahaley camp, MSF is the sole provider of medical care for the 130,000 people and currently treating 6,400 children for malnutrition. In Ifo, MSF provides medical care to the 25,000 refugees gathered on the outskirts of the camp. In Liben, MSF is providing medical care in the six camps where 119,000 refugees are gathered. Here, more than 10,000 children are enrolled in nutritional programs.
More at the linkThis week, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has... more
Amid the graves of Somalia's children
Burying a child: A mother's unending grief
Sanjay Gupta MD
By Sanjay Gupta, M.D., Chief Medical Correspondent
August 11, 2011 11:25 a.m. EDT
Fight to save Somali kids
Gupta's visit with Somalian refugees brings disturbing memories
He recalls the grieving mother of a boyhood friend who died
Thousands of Somalian parents have buried their children this summer
Editor's note: Dr. Sanjay Gupta takes you deep inside the misery of the largest refugee camp in the world, "SGMD," Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET
Dadaab, Kenya (CNN) --
When I was in the third grade, a classmate of mine died of leukemia. None of us knew he was sick, only that his mother hadn't let him attend school in a while.
More than 30 years later, I still remember the awful day my mom told me my friend had passed away. I made a card for his mother, and walked to their house to deliver it. She was too overcome to take any visitors, but thanked me and took the card. I can recall her broken up face when she shut the door.
Over time we lost touch, but during the holidays a couple of years ago, I stopped by her home to pay a visit. She recognized me right away, smiled and invited me in for a cup of coffee. And then, while hanging my jacket, she began to tremble and cry.
So many years later, the sorrow was just under the surface. The experience left an indelible impression on me, one that I better understood after becoming a parent myself. It violates a natural order of life to bury your own child, and I am not sure the grief ever goes away.
That's the position 30,000 Somali parents found themselves in this summer. And, 600,000 more children may be buried before the end of the year. In just about any other place on Earth, those numbers would scream out from international headlines, but not here in East Africa.
Inside the Dadaab Refugee Camp, a mass burial site sits within walking distance of the close cluster of tents. Amin Hassan took me to see the tiny burial site of her 1-month old daughter, Addison.
It was nearly lost among all the other shallow, hastily dug graves. Small sticks mark these raised plots of dirt with nothing else except bits of colored plastic trash stuck in the ground and blowing in the wind.
There are no nameplates, no flowers and no reminders of their lives. People here just vanish.
"She was perfectly healthy when she arrived," Amin told me.
They had left Somalia in search of food and water, and felt relief when they finally reached the camp. It may have been contaminated water that caused little Addison's intractable diarrhea and vomiting or an overwhelming infection.
Pertussis or whooping cough is something they see quite often here. "And measles," one of the doctors told me.
Many of these infections are wildly contagious, especially among the hundreds of thousands of un-vaccinated kids in these camps.
As I stood and spoke to Hassan, with all those tiny burial sites around us, I couldn't help but think of my friend and his mother. I thought of that unnatural order of parents burying their children.
I thought about Hassan's lifelong grief.
Amin Hassan dug the grave for her daughter by herself.
.Amid the graves of Somalia's children
Burying a child: A... more
While the world's attention this week has been focused on the global economic impact of the U.S. debt ceiling deal, credit downgrade and subsequent market woes, the drought crisis in the Horn of Africa continues to deteriorate.
Children are dying at an alarming rate.
The United States estimates that as many as 29,000 Somali children died just in the last 90 days.
Three more areas in Southern Somalia have been added to the famine zone and the UN warns that without urgent intervention all of Southern Somalia will be engulfed in famine, resulting in the likelihood of tens of thousands of Somalis literally starving to death.
There have also been hopeful developments.
The retreat of the Al Qaeda-backed group Al Shabab from Mogadishu means that aid groups will have an easier time reaching the more than 500,000 people living either near or inside the capital city suffering from famine.
It's also significant progress for the current weak central government being backed by African Union troops.
For four years the fiercest battles for the soul of the country have taken place in Mogadishu.
"We have been dreaming of this day for more than three years," Somalia's Prime Minister Prime Minister Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali said in a statement."This is a big day, and a tremendous step forward, towards a more stable Somalia. By their actions in the past hours the extremists have shown that they never had a place in a peaceful Somalia...And the people do not want them here," he said.
Virtually no one believes the retreat will be permanent, a point punctuated by an Al Shabab spokesperson who called the pull-out a "tactical" decision and told reporters the group will continue to fight the government and AU troops using guerilla warfare.
"We shall fight the enemy wherever they are," Ali Mohamed Rage, reportedly told a local radio station. He also emphasized the militant group will be tightening its control in Southern Somalia, where Shabab rules unabated.
But even within the Islamist insurgency there remains a long-standing conflict within the leadership made up of mostly foreign Al Qaeda fighters, who want Shabab to play a bigger role in waging global jihad and Somali clan leaders who want to keep the movement Somalia-focused, defeating the current government and AU forces and impose strict sharia law.
The confusion over whether the militants will allow foreign aid agenciesto operate in areas they control has highlighted the rift, with some local clan leaders insisting that they won't let their people starve.
Some humanitarian organizations like UNICEF are already operating in Shabab-controlled areas, and more aid agencies are working on getting access to the most needy.
More at the link.While the world's attention this week has been focused on the global economic... more
It is always the children who are the victims of the world adults create and it is the greatest injustice. War ravages this region as it has for years it's affects now exacerbated by a drought the likes of which has been unseen for decades exacerbated as is the war by human behavior which was totally preventable. I know it is a place where terrorism thrives. I know it is a place where corruption and lawlessness thrive. And it is a poor area of the world seen as expendable as noted by the many hateful comments I have read from people on other news sites, some of which absolutely stunned me. However, it is also a place where humanity must thrive in order to spare a worse catastrophe.
As 12 million people most of them children face certain death if they get no help, we on this side of the world will throw out tons of uneaten wasted food without a thought. We will continue to be absorbed in our diversions that give us pleasure with little thought to what may be going on outside of our own worlds. And we will find some reason, any reason at all to dismiss the urgency of this drought war and ensuing famine to not have to do something no matter how small it may be to at least save one life.
These children did nothing to anyone. They are products of a world not of their creation. And they are also human beings like all of us who deserve to live life with hope. We must strip away all of the political, religious and ideological obstacles that prevent us from being human now. This is a humanitarian catastrophe of untold proportions and I simply cannot believe that the world willl sit by and allow these people to die. It is truly outrageous that geopolitics and foreign policy must always become more important than simply saving a human life.
Of course, the problems here go much deeper and will not be solved with just a 10 dollar donation to MSF to give them plumpy nut. This however is part of a greater war we now fight. A war against ignorance, hatred and intolerance. If we could only grasp how opening our hearts could release so many from the fear that grips our world and just look at the human beings in front of us we could solve anything. Right now however, these children need our help. Please do so if you haven't already. Humanity won't stand a chance if we can't be human, at least this once.It is always the children who are the victims of the world adults create and it is the... more
In his village, Kiliwehiri in northeastern Kenya, Abdullah Mohamed is known as "that mentally disturbed man".
"It is difficult to be normal after you have watched your entire life's savings get wiped out before your eyes," said Ibrahim Abdi, assistant chief of the village. "We are Somalis, we look after each other," explained Abdi, so the village shares their rations with Mohamed's family.
A month ago, Mohamed was just another pastoralist battling soaring temperatures and drought in the arid Mandera district - identified by the UN, with other parts of the Horn of Africa, as just one step away from famine on a five-point scale. It has not rained in his village for more than a year.
Over 10 days, Mohamed watched 40 of his cattle collapse and die - one by one - as they waited their turn at a water-point along the border between southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya, a few kilometres from his village.
For the people of Mandera and neighbouring Wajir district, their animals are not just an investment but part of the family.
"These carcasses meant the world to someone," said Kennedy Agoi Lumadede, an official with Vétérinaires Sans Frontières-Suisse (VSF-Suisse) as he pointed out heaps of bones along the dirt tracks linking the two districts..
"They [the animals] are like our family members," said an emotional Abdille Muhamed of Garse Koftu village in Wajir district as he knelt beside the carcass of the last of his cows. "I spent 20 years building this herd [of 40 cattle and 270 goats] - you nurture them like your children."
"We were sharing with this cow whatever relief food we were receiving," he said. They did not have enough aid to begin with. Muhamed, his two wives and 12 children, had moved back to his village when he was down to his last cow.
The village has been living off relief food for almost a year. "But we have at least five or six families moving back to the village every day now as their animals die," says a resident. "Each family's portion of aid is getting smaller by the day - the food only lasts a week [from the day it is distributed]."
Muhamed, like many others, had walked about four to five hours every day to raid bird nests in the few remaining trees to feed his cow. "It is the only bit of grass left in this desert. My animals worked with me and walked with me for long distances - it was my duty."
Wajir is also a step away from famine. Two remaining calves in the Garse Koftu village tug at a bit of cloth and an empty food sack. "We have heard of instances where the cows are even trying to eat sand," said Muna Ahmed of Arid Lands Development Focus Kenya, an NGO based in Wajir.
Muhamed said: "Today [when he lost his last cow] is a very sad day but I knew it was coming - the worst day was when I lost 17 goats in one day."
"With these members of my family gone, now I worry about my other children." His 12 children are, unsurprisingly, not healthy either. They have not had any milk for almost a year and have been living on a single meal for most of 2011.
All the money he had saved from selling milk and his goats was re-invested in buying more animals. This year, the value of a cow has plummeted from almost KSh8,000 (about US$88.50) to about Ksh5,800 ($64). His emaciated cow would not have even made that much.
But if Muhamed had had access to a destocking programme such as the one run by VSF, he could have ended the life of his animals in a more humane way, and been paid some money.
VSF-Suisse uses the Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) for interventions such as destocking. "But unfortunately we only cover a small part of Mandera district - everyone is working with limited resources," said Lumadede.
Even so, convincing the pastoralists to part with their animals is extremely difficult "because of their relationship with the animals and the pastoralists are eternal optimists - they always think it might just rain the next day or the day after and the situation will change", Lumadede added.
With pasture land completely depleted in Mandera and Wajir, pastoralists have taken their herds to Ethiopia hoping to find some grazing land and water.
"But their animals are too weak - they will all probably die before they can even get there," said Muhamed.
As Mohamed told his story in Mandera, a newsreader over somebody's radio was talking about budgetary constraints on public pensions in Italy.
"Everyone is suffering in the world," remarked a Kenyan in our entourage. But Muhamed's and Mohamed's animals meant a lot more than mere savings.In his village, Kiliwehiri in northeastern Kenya, Abdullah Mohamed is known as... more
Even the dramatic recent reductions in the cost of spectacles and cataract operations are not doing enough to reduce the catastrophic impact that untreated sight conditions have in the third world, but strangely enough, our appetite for HD on our mobile phones will fix this.Even the dramatic recent reductions in the cost of spectacles and cataract operations... more
The name Plumpy’nut may sound quirky, but this ridiculously simple product idea is already keeping countless famine-struck children from starvation and will save millions of lives
The French are not known for granting unequivocal recognition to the culinary majesty that is ‘peanut butter and jelly’, especially when Americans go as far as using it as a metaphor for obviousness, in terms of “things that naturally go together”. But these small packs of sweet, fortified peanut butter are a French invention which is revolutionising humanitarian relief.The name Plumpy’nut may sound quirky, but this ridiculously simple product idea... more
In 1984, a Kenyan photographer and cameraman named Mohamed Amin shocked the world into action with his images of famine victims in Ethiopia.
Africa battles worst drought in 60 years, aid agencies warn
Today, 15 years after he was tragically killed in the crash of a hijacked Ethiopian Airlines flight off the Comoros Islands, famine once again stalks the Horn of Africa, threatening the lives of 10 million people in what the USAid-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fews Net) describes as one of the world’s most severe food security emergencies.
Perhaps no country in the region is as badly affected as Somalia. The Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) estimates that 2.85 million people — a third of the population — are now in humanitarian crisis and in need of urgent assistance, an increase of 42.5 per cent over the figure in December 2010. “We are no longer on the verge of a humanitarian disaster; we are in the middle of it now,” Isaq Ahmed, the chairman of the Mubarak Relief and Development Organisation, a local NGO working in the south of the country, told IRIN on June 28. “It is happening and no one is helping.”
Indeed, the numbers coming out of Somalia paint a terrible picture of a population caught in a perfect storm of calamities: A two-decade long brutal conflict that has seen the country play host to one of the largest displaced populations in the world; the worst drought in a generation has precipitated a sharp decline in food production; rising food prices mean that even the little available is out of reach of the impoverished population; and funding shortfalls for relief agencies resulting from a faltering global economy.
The prevalence of acute malnutrition among children under five years is an objective crisis indicator, reflecting the wider situation of emergency affected populations, including their food security, livelihoods, public health and social environment, say Helen Young and Susanne Jaspars in their paper The Meaning and Measurement of Acute Malnutrition in Emergencies: A Primer For Decision-makers.
According to the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, at least 75 per cent of the estimated 241,000 malnourished children in Somalia reside in the volatile southern regions where the country’s internationally recognised Transitional Federal Government is battling a brutal insurgency in the latest iteration of the country’s 20-year civil war. In some of these areas, 1 in 3 children is malnourished, more than double the emergency threshold of 15 per cent.
In August 2010, the national level of acute malnutrition was 15.2 per cent with 16.6 per cent in the south. Five months later the situation had deteriorated in most parts of the country and a national rate of 16 per cent was reported, with 25 per cent in the south. Assessments conducted in April 2011 confirmed a sustained crisis. Complicating the situation in the south even further, Al Qaeda-linked extremist insurgents continue to bar international humanitarian agencies from access to the needy populations, accusing them of promulgating Christianity and Western ideology.
The conflict has also created huge numbers of internally displaced persons. Since January, the UN estimates the drought has added a further 55,000. These are most often the poorest of the poor and it is no coincidence, therefore, that they are suffering disproportionately. While a third of the general population is in crisis, the ratio among IDPs is twice that. In February, 910,000, or 62 per cent of the country’s 146,000 IDPs, were identified by FSNAU as being in crisis. The situation is now driving more people to flee the country altogether, many of them having to walk for up to a month to reach refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.
At the Daadab refugee camp in Kenya, the largest in the world, about 1,300 Somalis are arriving every day, nearly two-thirds of them children. “Nearly every child or parent we have spoken to says they are not just fleeing fighting in Somalia — the drought and food crisis are equally perilous to them now,” Catherine Fitzgibbon, Save the Children’s Kenya programme director, told the BBC.
more at the linkIn 1984, a Kenyan photographer and cameraman named Mohamed Amin shocked the world into... more
The levels of malnutrition among children fleeing Somalia's drought could lead to a "human tragedy of unimaginable proportions", the UN refugee head Antonio Guterres has said.
Young children are dying on their way to or within a day of arrival at camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, the UNHCR says.
It estimates that a quarter of Somalis are either displaced within the country or living outside as refugees.
The worst drought in 60 years has been compounded by the violence in Somalia.
"It's so extreme," said UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. "Our people are saying they've never seen anything like it."
The warning comes as the UK aid agencies Oxfam, Save the Children, and the Red Cross launch emergency appeals in response to the food crisis which is affecting more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa.
The agencies are collectively asking for nearly $150m (£93m).
The UNHCR says the need for food, shelter, health services and other life saving aid is urgent and massive.
The agency says more than 50% of Somali children arriving in Ethiopia are seriously malnourished. In Kenya, that figure is between 30% and 40%.
"What is the most tragic for us to witness, is that there are children who do arrive in such a weakened state that despite our emergency care and therapeutic feeding, they're dying within 24 hours," Ms Fleming told a press briefing in Geneva.
"We estimate that one quarter of Somalia's 7.5 million people are now either internally displaced or are living outside the country as refugees," she said.
The UNHCR recently opened a third camp in south-eastern Ethiopia, which is quickly reaching its capacity of 20,000, and is now planning further camps.
A relief plane chartered by the agency is flying to Addis Ababa on Tuesday and a convoy of 20 trucks carrying tents and other aid is on its way as well.
In north-east Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, some 1,400 refugees are arriving every day. Aid agencies fear numbers could rise to half a million.
Badu Katelo, Kenya's Commissioner for Refugee Affairs, said food and water distribution, shelter and space were all over stretched and that the security situation was getting worse.
"We would like to see a vibrant, committed intervention from the international community," he said.
More at the linkThe levels of malnutrition among children fleeing Somalia's drought could lead to... more
UN says that more than 10 million people are affected in areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda
The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations has said.
More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said.
"Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs told a media briefing. "There is no likelihood of improvement until 2012".
Food prices have risen substantially in the region, pushing many moderately poor households over the edge.
A UN map of food security in the eastern Horn of Africa shows large swathes of central Kenya and Somalia in the emergency category, one phase before what the UN classifies as catastrophe/famine – the fifth and worst category.
Child malnutrition rates in the worst affected areas are more than double the emergency threshold of 15 per cent and are expected to rise further. High mortality rates among children are also reported.
Drought and fighting are driving ever greater numbers of Somalis from their homeland, with more than 20,000 arriving in Kenya in just the past two weeks, the UN refuge agency UNHCR said on Friday. It voiced alarm at the dramatic rise, noting the average monthly outflow had been about 10,000 so far this year.
Almost half the Somali children arriving in refugee camps in Ethiopia are malnourished, and those arriving in Kenya are little better, Byrs said.
UN humanitarian appeals for Somalia and Kenya, each about $525m, are barely 50 per cent funded, while a $30m appeal for Djibouti is just 30 per cent funded, she said.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jun/28/africa-drought-kenya-somalia-famineUN says that more than 10 million people are affected in areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia,... more
The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis and high malnutrition rates, with parts of Kenya and Somalia experiencing pre-famine conditions, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
More than 10 million people are now affected in drought-stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is deteriorating, it said.
"Two consecutive poor rainy seasons have resulted in one of the driest years since 1950/51 in many pastoral zones," Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told a media briefing.
"There is no likelihood of improvement (in the situation)until 2012," she said.
Food prices have risen substantially in the region, pushing many moderately poor households over the edge, she said.
A U.N. map of food security in the eastern Horn of Africa shows large swathes of central Kenya and Somalia in the "emergency" category, one phase before what the U.N. classifies as catastrophe/famine -- the fifth and worst category.
Child malnutrition rates in the worst affected areas are more than double the emergency threshold of 15 percent and are expected to rise further, Byrs said.
High mortality rates among children are reported, but she had no figures for the toll.
Drought and fighting are driving ever greater numbers of Somalis from their homeland, with more than 20,000 arriving in Kenya in just the past two weeks, the U.N. refuge agency UNHCR said on Friday. It voiced alarm at the dramatic rise, noting the average monthly outflow had been about 10,000 so far this year.
Almost half the Somali children arriving in refugee camps in Ethiopia are malnourished, and those arriving in Kenya are little better, Byrs said.
U.N. humanitarian appeals for Somalia and Kenya, each about $525 million, are barely 50 percent funded, while a $30 million appeal for Djibouti is just 30 percent funded, she said.The worst drought in 60 years in the Horn of Africa has sparked a severe food crisis... more
Mar. 24, 2011 4:16 PM ET
UN: 6 million North Koreans need food aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United Nations reported Thursday that more than 6 million North Koreans — about a quarter of the communist state's population — are in urgent need of international food assistance.
The findings will add to pressure for the United States to resume food aid to North Korea suspended in 2009 after private groups monitoring the distribution of food were expelled. But doing so could be seen as aiding a government which has since advanced its nuclear weapons programs and had armed clashes with U.S. ally South Korea.
In its report, the result of an assessment conducted in February and March, the U.N. said that North Korea has suffered a series of shocks including summer floods and then a harsh winter, "leaving the country highly vulnerable to a food crisis."
It said the worst affected include children, women and the elderly, and recommended providing 430,000 metric tons of food aid.
North Korea's public distribution system will run out of food at the beginning of the "lean season" that runs between May and July, between spring and fall harvests. This would "substantially increase the risk of malnutrition and other diseases," the report said.
Three U.N. agencies — the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and UNICEF — conducted the assessment at North Korea's request. They visited 40 counties in nine of the country's 11 provinces.
Five nongovernment U.S. aid agencies who visited the North last month reported severe food shortages and alarming malnutrition among children.
The U.S. says it is considering resuming food aid to the North, which has had chronic problems in feeding its people since its assistance from the former Soviet Union ended. The country suffered famine in the mid-1990s in which at least hundreds of thousands are believed to have died.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry said Thursday the results of the U.N. assessment were "dire" and called for resumption of aid if it could be properly monitored.
"It is tempting to withhold food assistance until North Korea abandons its pursuit of nuclear weapons or adopts economic reforms. But the North demonstrated during the famine in the mid-to-late 1990s, in which an estimated 5-10 percent of ordinary North Koreans died, that it is willing to allow its people to suffer enormously," the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.
International donors will be concerned that any food aid not be redirected from civilians to North Korea's powerful military. They will also seek to act in concert with South Korea if assistance is restarted.
Tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula after two deadly, unprovoked military attacks on U.S. ally South Korea in the past year.
The North also recently revealed it had developed a new means of generating fissile material that might be used for a nuclear bomb. Talks on it disarming its nuclear programs have stalled for nearly two years.Mar. 24, 2011 4:16 PM ET
UN: 6 million North Koreans need food aid
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The current, daily more bizarre international situation, however, how absurd it may sound, is comparable to the days and the weeks, the years before French Revolution. A desperate financial crisis, which was self-made, knitted, an always deferred reform, some sort a blockade, not only on the life worthy issue of incumbent climate changes of the world, this progress could have served all people. And all, what is already bitter enough, history has repeated, this time, in our days.
However, the smug, greedy bankers, shady business leaders, strange political, some of the Constitution completely indifferent currents, an all-dominant intelligence, an uncontrollable power gadget, which acts apparently out of a never-ending, infinite resource against a hostile, every day potentiating crisis. Once it is the digital spirit of Osama bin-Laden, his invisible terrorist assessed successor, El-Kaida. Then suddenly, because they can get hold of one, new, sudden enemy.
The US-Adminstration, who distracts from other problems that affect us all, found the foe: Julian Paul Assange and his organization Wikileaks. Now Julian Paul Assange, who is declared a public enemy number 1,only because he and his organisation published true exhibits, for all the people, made them accessible to many nations. This time it's not the French people, that once so hated Marie-Antoinette. But it's the same situation, only more than 200 years later. Jean-Jacques Rousseau quoted, not without self-interest, in his autobiography "The Confessions" (from the French original text): « Je me rappelai le pis d'une grande princesse-all à qui l'on disait que les paysans n'avaient pas de pain , et qui répondit: qu'il mangent de la brioche. »
Translation: "Finally I remembered the makeshift of a great princess, the people said, they have had no bread, and she answered: Let them eat cakes!"
Normally, one would be attempted to believe, that even the powerful leader of this world would have learned something of all its ineffable authority, no, it's how it was. How it used to be. Also in the Bastille in Paris they were quite happy to tortured extensively, the same in the many outposts all over France in those days. Mainly people, who opened their mouth, rebelled against the autocratic system of that time, degenerate royalist lords, the usual inhabitants of Versailles. Many people on this wide, wonderful world, even in the years of growing pluralism, are still fed instead of bread with weapons, fear and hopelessness, with death and disease. Probably this is the cake of the 21 his century.
It's never about the good-hearted people of the American, for what they gave to the world. These many nations, that have been created with sweat and blood to one. The GIs liberated Germany from the Nazis, they gave them hope by JFK, "I am a Berliner". Everyone knows. The spirit of liberty, who flew to the moon, proved pioneering spirit. America gave us so many things, not only chewing gum, large automotive dreams, Hollywood, Hamburger culture, the joy of swing, rock and roll were only a few of those. For many the new home, Ellis Island, the Empire -State Building, New York, San Francisco, cities, settlements of superlatives were created. People, great personalities were produced in America.
However, Wikileaks and their founder Julian Paul Assange, stormed as in a contemporary avatar of the modern history the new Bastille, the U.S. government, all the evil, dictatory thoughts, sometimes even ridiculous manic minutes of the oh-so-usual-eloquent diplomats.
Now, Americans should ask: Why is that? Some officials may not support everything in the own apparatus, the policy of the last decade? Maybe they can not agree with their conscience? There are obvious documents from the lion's hideaway. Why does a slightly unworldly Australian, tireless globetrotter turns out be the beginning of a new, but overwhelming revolution? He stormed the political goal and haphazard Tuileries, carried his idea, as Marie Charpointier the Tricolour. Assange overcame the enlightenment thinking and politicization. Lived the displaced, forgotten problems. Someone must do so, without doubt. Back to the people, to the genuine nations in power. It was long enough the people of this world, the incumbent, closed-class used own made policies for the financial, senseless wars, for further environmental destruction for the very personal goals of the installed disgusting satellites. Plenty of willing vassals, an inscrutable network of secret diplomacy, abductions, torture, murder, intrigue and life in apparently undemocratic manners. Everything in the disguise of higher goals that many, most people on this planet, could not understand anymore.
There occurred a certain, even some 30 years ago, unthinkable mechanism, which has now thrown the world in an undeclared cyber war by some organisation called Anonymous. They can ´t stop by militant attacks, like in cyber guerrilla warfare, the incredible criminalization of Paul Julian Assange, just show the front, allow all involved parties to proceed further. Radical U.S. politicians, or those who think they are, autocratic self actors, the mislead American dream of prosecutor, judge and executioner in one focused person. The hatred is a paralysing, serves unconditionally not to all the people of the world. It is time that America takes position, not in front of the politicians, however to the people of this earth.
For others, such as sadists, Assange already is one, who is walking the green mile, towards to the rooms of their so ugly executions. Solved by now in the closed, political world. Assange seems to be on the tube of lethal injection. The making of is just made now. Julian Paul Assange is the worldwide martyrs. Now, even that he has not earned. Not yet.
Systematically, all in years, decades exploited mature channels are used to stop the truth, which Assange published on Wikileaks. To cover up.
What shall be prevented or what should be avoided?
Does anyone in the United States fear the political meltdown? The steady moral slump of the former superpower, the former living and giving democracy in a meaningless international community which declined by some hateful operators, a system, that was installed after 9/11. A war government that sought their own questionable authority.
Has Wikileaks papers or documents that tell a different, but much more logical, credible truth about the following, to this day occurred events?
The question is: why the superpower is still at war? Why the spirit in a bottle, bin Laden, has not been presented a regular court? He may comment on the allegations. Why not? A state, that clearly has the smartest military in the world, the god-like CIA and other servants is surely enabled to find, locate an Osama- bin- Laden.
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Especially under the current international situation, it was for us very important to add something to the killings and the general conscience of the civilized world.
This book should help to ensure, that the people who are struggling in these days to find the natural freedom are strengthened.
Human rights are like the air we breathe, like the water we drink. The bread, which we eat.
We, who live in freedom, must support the uncertain, not to leave their lives in the storm of needed revolution.
If we want to overthrow barbarians such as Gaddafi, Kim etc. , then for us all the only solution is to support the people who live in utter poverty of politics.
We got only this planet. We have to achieve freedom. Democracy is our greatest challenge for the new century. For our and the next generation.
It must be clear to the dictators, that life offers no possibility for them, except the way to live democratic principles.
For this is the beginning of the fair distribution of all our efforts on this planet. We want to create something, that will be worth living for future generations. We all bear responsibility for one another and for an ordered together.
http://www.amazon.com/hangman-Pyongyang-Weare-world-ebook/dp/B004R1Q3RC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&m=A12MGAGPLUJEQK&s=digital-text&qid=1299694696&sr=1-3Especially under the current international situation, it was for us very important to... more
UN: Flooding has displaced 1 million more in Pakistan
By the CNN Wire Staff
August 27, 2010 9:41 p.m. EDT
Levee break displaces thousands
* NEW: U.N. is increasingly worried about flood-driven malnutrition among children
* U.N. official says a "colossal disaster is getting worse"
* About 1 million additional people have been displaced in Sindh province, the U.N. says
* Authorities have ordered evacuations in the Indus River delta
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Flooding has displaced an additional 1 million people in Pakistan's Sindh province in the past two days, according to new U.N. estimates released Friday.
"We have more people on the move, to whom we need to provide relief. An already colossal disaster is getting worse and requiring an even more colossal response," said Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Giuliano said rains have forced the evacuation of an estimated 1 million people in southern Sindh in the past 48 hours or so.
"The magnitude of this crisis is reaching levels that are even beyond our initial fears, which were already leaning towards what we thought would be the worst. The number of those affected and those in need of assistance from us are bound to keep rising. The floods seem determined to outrun our response," he said.
The U.N. also said Friday that it is increasingly concerned about flood-driven malnutrition among children.
"The flooding has surrounded millions of children with contaminated water," said Karen Allen, deputy representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Pakistan. "Most have nothing else to drink. We fear the deadly synergy of waterborne diseases, including diarrhea, dehydration and malnutrition."
Acute malnutrition was high in much of Pakistan even before the floods. For instance, 27 percent of children under 5 in Baluchistan province were malnourished, as were 17 percent of children in Punjab, according to the U.N.
A hospital in Sindh is overrun with people suffering from waterborne illness; two children share each bed and more are on the floor. A doctor at the hospital said there are "not enough resources because of huge population ... coming to this hospital."
Remat Chacher, a farmer in Sindh, escaped the floodwaters with his wife and two children earlier this month.
But then his 3-month-old daughter Benazir got sick. "She started to get fever and couldn't keep anything down ... lots of belly pain," said Ulla, the infant's mom.
A few days later, the same symptoms struck the Chachers' son, 2-year-old Wazira. Both children died on the way to the hospital, with Wazira weighing just 8 pounds and Benazir weighing 2 pounds.
Floodwaters have started to recede across Pakistan, but in the Indus delta, the potential for more flooding remained high, especially given high tides in the Arabian Sea, where the Indus spills out.
Already, more than 17 million Pakistanis -- from the Chinese border in the north to the mouth of the Indus in the south -- have been affected by the monsoon floods that began a month ago.
To date, Pakistan's unfolding tragedy has claimed 1,600 lives, according to the National Disaster Management Authority. That number is likely to rise as more drowned bodies are discovered in receding waters.
Many refugees have sought shelter at relief camps, where food and drinking water are now available. But every day, there are new camp arrivals -- people who were already poor, who now have nothing.
Along the flooded Swat River in northeastern Pakistan, six local aid workers have spent two weeks braving the torrents on rafts they built from used tire tubes, bamboo and gaffers' tape after motorized boats failed to arrive.
The workers are ferrying tents, blankets and other supplies to hundreds of thousands of people stranded across the river and cut off from normal supply routes.
Last year, bombs and bullets from the army's offensive against the Taliban destroyed many homes and lives in the region. Residents had barely begun to recover when the rains came.
"We are fed up," said Shahravan, a 65-year old man who lost his house in the floods. "You don't ask a dead man why he's in his grave. It's not his choice."
Fayas Muhammad, another local, said he lost his leg when his house was mistakenly bombed in last year's fighting. The same blast took his wife and son. "We are very sad for all that Swat has been through," he said.
The damage from Pakistan's worst humanitarian catastrophe is sure to hurtle the impoverished nation back in terms of development. This week, America's top aid official saw firsthand the dire needs in Pakistan.
Dr. Rajiv Shah, administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development, said he was deeply moved by his visit to Sukkur and that aid agencies were "scaling up their response efforts as quickly as they possibly can."
Shah announced the United States would be diverting another $50 million for flood relief from the Kerry-Lugar Act, which allocated $7.5 billion in nonmilitary assistance to Pakistan over five years.
CNN's Sanjay Gupta, Reza Sayah, Samson Desta, Sara Sidner, Moni Basu and journalist Nasir Habib contributed to this report.UN: Flooding has displaced 1 million more in Pakistan
By the CNN Wire Staff
Poverty is so bad in Afghanistan that one out of every four babies born die in the first year from malnutrition.
http://tiny.cc/uctb7Poverty is so bad in Afghanistan that one out of every four babies born die in the... more