FRW news in brief

    | June 23, 2014

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    1-South Sudan: Facing famine and cholera outbreak

    The President of South Sudan says his country faces “one of the worst famines ever“ if the conflict between government and rebel forces does not end immediately.

    The UN South Sudan Crisis Response Plan states that over seven million people could go hungry by August, with an estimated quarter of a million children facing severe acute malnutrition. The international NGO Oxfam says the country is also facing a cholera outbreak.

    The United Nations Security Council has accused both sides in the conflict of responsibility for the violence and is threatening sanctions. Nearly one million people are internally displaced or have fled the country as refugees.

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    2-Ethiopia: Family farmers feed the world

    The International Fund for Agricultural Development, or IFAD, states that 500 million small-scale farming families produce up to 80 per cent of the food consumed in the developing world.

    At a recent conference in Addis Ababa, IFAD President Dr. Kanayo Nwaze said that investing in small-scale farmers is investing in the resilience of food systems. He noted that small-scale farmers are often unable to invest during crises because they lack assets, insurance, financial services and social safety nets.

    Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn stated that Ethiopia is improving small-scale farmers’ options by strengthening agricultural marketing systems, providing irrigation and reducing land degradation.

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    3-Somalia: Another famine on the horizon?

    The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia says that $60-million US is needed immediately to deliver food and water to 850,000 people in Somalia and save the lives of 50,000 children.

    The matter is, however, complicated because of a ban on delivery of food aid to parts of the country controlled by the militant group Al-Shabaab.

    The UN is calling on donors to help Somalia. The country suffered a famine in 2011. A quarter of a million people, many of them children, died after two harvests failed. Drought, a shortage of aid money and conflict have disrupted the current planting season, leading UN officials to fear that another famine is on the horizon.

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