February 15, 2012
By Sung Lee
Save the Children, an international aid organization, urged the international community to take an immediate action to help almost half a billion children who are suffering from malnutrition. The new report, A Life Free from Hunger, states that 300 children die of malnutrition every day. Malnutrition is the root cause of the deaths of 2.6 million children every year. The report also states that nearly two in five children in Africa, more than 60 million children, are stunted. The full report is available here.
Poor diet kills 2.6 million infants a year, says survey by Save the Children, Guardian, February 15
Malnutrition is the root cause of the deaths of 2.6 million children each year, and the bodies and brains of 450 million more will fail to develop properly due to inadequate diet over the next 15 years unless immediate action is taken, according to a survey published by a leading international charity.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, U.S. Department of Agriculture, February 15
Rural America supplies food for our country and the world. Agriculture is also a critical driver of our economy, helping support 1 in 12 American jobs. Last year, exports of American agricultural goods reached a new record, helping drive record farm income and supporting more than one million jobs.
"A Catastrophic Year" as Hunger Crisis Looms over Sahel, IPS, February 15
Seven out of the eight governments in the Sahel – the arid zone between the Sahara desert in North Africa and Sudan’s Savannas in the south – have taken the unprecedented step of declaring emergencies as 12 million people in the region are threatened by hunger. Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria have all called for international assistance to prevent yet another hunger crisis on the continent.
Aid groups seek flexible food assistance program in farm bill, Agri-Pulse, February 15
Currently, the United States provides approximately 50% of food aid globally at an estimated annual cost to taxpayers of $2 billion, roughly 80% of which is delivered by a half-dozen programs contained in the Trade Title of the 2008 Farm Bill. They include P.L. 480, Food for Progress, McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, and the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust.
Pioneer Will Establish Seed Research Center in Beijing, Des Moines Register, February 14
DuPont, the parent company of Pioneer Hi-Bred in Johnston, will build a seed technology hub in Beijing, China, the company announced today. The hub, which is slated to open later this year, will use molecular breeding to develop high-yield corn hybrids. China is a growing importer of corn from the United States, but Pioneer executives believe that the fast-growing country can move into the top tier of corn producers in 15 years by using modern seed and production techniques.
The Case for U.S. Foreign Aid, Opinion, Emma Welch, Council on Foreign Relations, February 14
U.S. foreign aid makes the biggest impact in its long-term efforts that do not make headline news. It provides critical resources and support to over 190 countries and international institutions to better ensure stability and encourage growth. For many countries, U.S. financial support is a critical lifeline.
State Department says US envoy to hold talks with North Korea in Beijing next week, Washington Post, February 13
The U.S. has repeatedly said that any decision on food aid would be driven by North Korea’s need for it and U.S. confidence that any aid would not be diverted to the powerful military. The North requested the food aid over a year ago. The last U.S.-funded food distributions ended in 2009 after North Korea expelled staff monitoring its distribution.