The World Can Feed Itself – It Needs the Will

In this opinion piece, Dominic MacSorley, former CEO of Concern Worldwide  writes from the Sudan about the world hunger situation.   He says: “Gaza and Ukraine have been most prominent in the public eye but they form only a fraction of the 117 million people experiencing acute food insecurity as a result of conflict in 19 countries and territories, including thephoto credit, Concern Worldwide Central African Republic, the Central Sahel, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.”

WORLD FOOD PROGRAM speaks on Feeding those in need

In this video interview by, David Beasley, former Governor of South Carolina, and the outgoing Executive Director of the UN World Food Program (WFP) speaks about his organization’s feeding those in greatest need.  From March 21, 2023.

WFP is providing food aid to 160 million persons, and the hunger needs continue to grow.  Beasley says in the interview:  “I do think the problems we’re facing around the world are quite extraordinary. But, as I tell them, look, there’s $400 trillion worth of wealth around the planet today, and your charity is not the long-term solution. But we are in a crisis mode right now, and we need your help.  But, number two, I need your engagement. Work with us to end hunger around the world.”

WHO Reports 43,000 excess deaths in Somalia, in 2022, due to Drought

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the results of a retrospective study commissioned by both their WHO-Somalia office and Unicef’s Somalia office.  The study,  conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College-London, used  statistical modeling to determine that approximately 43,000 excess deaths occurred in 2022 due to the drought in Somalia, largely associated with malnutrition.

Black Sea Grain Initiative, to Expire 18 March 2023, in Peril

The Black Sea Initiative, the U.N. brokered agreement to export Ukrainian grain via the Black Sea ports is due to expire on Saturday the 18th of March, 2023.  As of 14 March, there was a proposal by the Russians, to shorten the extension from 120 days  to 60 days.  The Ukrainians counter that this would need an amendment to the agreement which had stipulated 120 days as the minimum extension.   The news of this issue had already caused grain prices to rise on international markets

Hunger is Inevitable Result of Massive Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

The double impact of two strong and close earthquakes in southwest Turkey and northern Syria has paralyzed infrastructure and food systems.  The earthquakes affected millions of people;  hunger due to lack of access to food is inevitable, worse, the winter temperatures require a greater caloric intake.  (photo courtesy of Ahmed Akacha)

USDA Improving nutrition standards for school meals

The Washington Post recently reported that the USDA has announced new, more stringent, national nutrition standards for its school feeding program. This program reaches 30 million students at 100,000 schools nationwide. The new standards propose to lower sugars, fat and salt, while increasing whole grain content in the school meals. These higher standards will gradually be implemented over the next few years. All students were eligible for these meals at targeted schools during the Covid pandemic, but eligibility criteria were restarted for the 2022-23 school year.
Child obesity in the U.S. has nearly tripled over the last 30 years, to the point where approximately 20% of all children between 2-19 years of age are deemed obese. Some food trade groups believe that these increased nutritional standards will lower the consumption of school meals because they will be judged by students as less tasty. However the Food Research and Action Center believes the new standards are well-designed to balance the goal of meals’ increased nutritional value without a decrease in consumption due to student preferences.