Tag: hunger

Why seasonality is back and that's a good thing

A Welsh friend of mine once came back home after a long stint in Nicaragua. A mate picked him up at the airport and on the long drive back to Cardiff, Alun turned to him and asked ‘so, how’s the harvest been this year?’ His friend looked at him as if he’d gone mad. Which […]

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So how many of the world's people are hungry? Dunno. Work in progress…….

Richard King, my highly numerate colleague, grapples with the confusion surrounding the FAO’s hunger numbers. Global hunger numbers must be among the most widely quoted and over-interpreted of all the indicators at development wonks’ and campaigners’ disposal. ‘One billion people (one in seven of the world’s population) go to bed hungry’ is a compelling headline […]

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Ending Hunger Now – what's missing from Josette Sheeran's talk?

Inspiring TED talk by World Food Program boss Josette Sheeran. Besides the general moral outrage and can-do optimism she conveys, I like the focus on local sourcing, investing in small farmers, school meals, breast feeding and supporting food banks as a form of local food reserve. But some culprits get off very lightly. Nationally, what about […]

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The Killer Facts behind the GROW campaign

I’m a big fan of killer facts in campaigning – they summarize the issue and stick in the minds of policy makers and activists alike. So here’s a selection from yesterday’s launch of the GROW campaign, many of them ground out by ace number-crunching colleague Richard King: Extent of the problem · The poorest people spend […]

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GROW: Oxfam’s new Global Campaign

As promised, here’s the outline of the new 4 year Oxfam mega-campaign, GROW. The website is here, with the launch report ‘Growing a Better Future’ and lots of background papers and case studies. The point of departure for Grow is that the survival and flourishing of humanity in this century will be determined by its […]

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Do men and women see hunger differently?

The new campaign that Oxfam is launching next week will have a big focus on gender – almost every issue in development looks very different depending on whether you are a man or a women. I saw that in graphic form last week in Tanzania, during a training session for 40 ‘farmer animators’ – local […]

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Why the Economist is wrong on India and hunger: guest post from Swati Narayan

The Economist last week ran an article criticizing India’s ‘Right to Food’ legislation. Independent food policy specialist Swati Narayan responds. She also has a piece on the Right to Food on the Guardian’s website today. The Economist article ‘The Indian Exception’ is timely and asks just the right puzzling questions ― why is India an […]

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Food prices and politics: the IMF agrees with Bob Marley

I usually prefer ‘man bites dog’ research that comes up with unexpected answers, but sometimes it’s helpful to have the opposite – number crunchers who back up what you always suspected, thereby increasing your certainty and confidence. Food Prices and Political Instability, a new paper from the IMF, is in the latter category. Some highlights, […]

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Genetics and food doesn't have to be just about GM: genetic markers

The most interesting article in the Economist special report on ‘Feeding the World’, reviewed here yesterday, was on the question of new technologies. Quote: ‘The only reliable way to produce more food is to use better technology’. Some excerpts here: “There will not be big gains in food production from taking in new land, using […]

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Feeding the 9 billion: where to agree/disagree with the Economist?

[Update: The author, John Parker’s, response to this post is here] This week’s Economist has a timely special report (accompanying editorial here) on the ‘Future of Food’, which definitely merits a couple of posts. I (along with hundreds of colleagues) have been developing the content for Oxfam’s forthcoming campaign on ‘food justice in a resource-constrained world’, […]

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Global price chaos – is another food crisis on the way?

Today in the FT: “Sugar prices suffered their biggest one-day sell-off in 30 years on Thursday, tumbling by as much as 11 per cent after speculators pulled out from the market in the wake of dizzying gains. The sell-off, which came just hours after the sweetener hit a 30-year high, started after the European Commission […]

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The State of World Hunger in Graphs

This from the FAO’s ‘State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009’. Click on the graphs. After decades of improvements, the number of undernourished people (in millions) in the world has been rising rapidly since the mid 1990s.       Even as a proportion of total population, hunger started rising in the middle of […]

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