- In the week that marks the first anniversary of the global financial crisis, there are more hungry people in the world and less food aid than ever before. For the world’s most vulnerable, the perfect storm is hitting with a vengeance, the World Food Programme said in a statement today.
The WFP Executive Director JOsette Sheeran said the double whammy of the financial crisis and the still record high food prices around the world is delivering a devastating blow. "Throw in a storm, a drought and a conflict and you have a recipe for disaster," said the WFP chief.
WFP’s budget to feed 108 million people in 74 countries this year is US$6.7 billion. "But today, we have just US$2.6 billion. Donors have been extremely generous, but the fact is that the cost of food is still high, needs have gone up and this requires the world to step up to the plate in a bigger way," she said.
Ms Sheeran made an urgent plea to the world not to forget those who are most in need and who have been hit hardest by the crisis, as the green shoots of economic recovery are appearing.
She mentioned that today in the United States and much of Europe, more people are relying on government safety nets for food and support than perhaps ever before, while for 80 percent of the world, there is perhaps no safety net.
"We urgently need an additional US$3 billion to meet those needs, which is less than 0.01 percent of what was put on the table to stabilise the world financially. We think this is critical for the world’s peace and stability," she said.
She further mentioned that at current funding levels, the WFP will in October have to cut some services throughout the world, including to half of those that the angecy is reaching in Kenya. "We will be reaching one-fifth of those we have been targeting due to the impact of high food prices in Bangladesh. In Somalia we will have to cut rations by half. Around the world, there are many more examples like this," she stressed.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
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afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.