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UN Warns a 'Biblical' Famine Is Possible

World Food Program executive director says it could happen within months

(Newser) - The head of the UN food agency warned Tuesday that, as the world is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, it is also "on the brink of a hunger pandemic" that could lead to "multiple famines of biblical proportions" within a few months if immediate action isn’t taken.... More »

'A Death Sentence' for Kids Under 5 in Yemen

85K may have died since 2015: Save the Children

(Newser) - If Democrats were spurred to action after the deaths of 40 children in Yemen, killed when an airstrike hit their bus , you should now expect an uproar. "This situation is proving a death sentence," a rep for Save the Children says of Yemen's civil war, which has... More »

Drought-Related Hunger Kills 110 in Somalia in 48 Hours

Millions in danger as famine warnings blare

(Newser) - Somalia's prime minister said Saturday that 110 people have died from hunger in the past 48 hours in a single region—the first death toll announced in a severe drought threatening millions of people across the country. Somalia's government declared the drought a national disaster on Tuesday. The... More »

UN Report: Famine Looms in Yemen for 13M People

'Scale of human suffering is almost incomprehensible': UN humanitarian chief

(Newser) - Things continue to deteriorate in Yemen as the conflict between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces grinds on. But now there's a new problem in the mix: a possible famine, created by what Ertharin Cousin, the executive director of the UN's World Food Programme, calls a "perfect storm"... More »

How Hardship Affects Religious Belief

People living in harsh times embrace high gods, researchers say

(Newser) - Living under harsh conditions like extreme weather or food scarcity? Then you're more likely to believe in powerful, judgmental gods, according to a new study . A group of researchers from various fields reached their conclusion after synthesizing historical data from 583 societies around the world, phys.org reports. "... More »

Know What Famine Victims Don't Need? Rock Stars

Slate columnist: In fact, they might be doing more harm than good

(Newser) - Rock stars have been joining together on behalf of Africa's famine victims since the days of Live Aid in the 1980s, but these well-meaning ventures might actually be making the problem worse, writes William Easterly at Slate . For one thing, celebrity relief concerts tend to reinforce the stereotype that... More »

India's Famine Solution: We'll Eat Bugs

FAO discusses farming insects for food

(Newser) - Hopefully people in India like munching on crickets and other, um, delicacies. As the country's Food and Agriculture Organization warns a global famine will strike in 50 years, scientists are experimenting with an interesting source of alternative protein: bugs. "We are now doing a lot of work on... More »

North Koreans Eating Their Own Kids: Reports

Cannibalism on the rise amid food shortage, informants say

(Newser) - Rumors of cannibalism are emerging from North Korea during a food shortage that may have killed 10,000 people last year, Global Post reports. In one gruesome tale, authorities allegedly executed a father for killing and eating two of his kids: "While his wife was away on business he... More »

Overeating Taking Bigger Toll Than Food Shortages

Non-infectious diseases now more of a threat than infectious ones: report

(Newser) - It's a worldwide first: Today, eating too much is more of a health threat than food shortages. On a global scale, overeating costs more years of healthy life than does undernutrition, according to a massive new study. The Global Burden of Disease 2010 report compares illnesses and causes of... More »

Why North Korea Has So Many Famines

Slate: Bad management, lack of fertilizers, and lousy terrain

(Newser) - With North Korea agreeing to suspend its nuclear program in exchange for food aid (yet again), the Explainer blog at Slate takes on the question of why the North keeps suffering from famines and food shortages. In short, "poor growing conditions, fertilizer shortages, and general mismanagement." In the... More »

Half-Million May Face Famine in Sudan

US envoy warns of 'colossal disaster'

(Newser) - A tragic byproduct of the conflict in Sudan: If humanitarian organizations are not allowed in soon, half a million people could face near-famine by March. "There is a looming humanitarian disaster in Sudan," says the US envoy to Sudan, who is pushing for African intervention in the country.... More »

Stars Unite to 'F*** Famine'

Group aims to raise awareness, not money

(Newser) - Bono, George Clooney, Colin Farrell, and a host of celebrities spout the F-word in a new ad with a simple message: "F*** famine." (Don't worry, it's still SFW, thanks to a lot of censoring.) "Famine is the real obscenity," explains Bono in the... More »

US Plans $100M in Somalia Famine Aid

Hundreds of thousands of children could die, warns official

(Newser) - As top US officials warn that hundreds of thousands of children could die in Somalia's famine, Washington is preparing to send $100 million in new aid, two officials tell the AP . To raise awareness of the crisis, Jill Biden traveled to a refugee camp to "ask Americans and... More »

Somalia Famine's Brutal Toll: 29K Kids Dead in 3 Months

All under the age of 5, according to the US

(Newser) - The UN has said that the famine in Somalia has killed tens of thousands, and the first specific estimate to emerge paints an even more heartbreaking picture. More than 29,000 children under the age of five have died in just the last 90 days in the southern part of... More »

Starving Somalis Leaving Children on 'Death Roads'

UN airlifting food to militant-controlled areas

(Newser) - Starving refugees and their children from famine-stricken Somalia are dying on their way to aid centers, the chief of the United Nations World Food Program warns. Desperate mothers have been forced to abandon dead or dying children along "roads of death" as they trek for days, sometimes weeks, to... More »

Starving Somalia to Get Famine Designation

UN agencies poised to add 'humanitarian catastrophe' label

(Newser) - Drought and food shortages have gotten so bad in southern Somalia that the UN is almost certain to upgrade the situation from a “humanitarian emergency” to a “famine/humanitarian catastrophe,” sources tell the Telegraph . “It’s 99% certain that tomorrow we will have to declare a full... More »

Horn of Africa Close to Famine

An estimated 12M people in jeopardy

(Newser) - A lack of rain and rising world prices have left an estimated 12 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia in dire need of food, the Telegraph reports. The reality is especially difficult to ignore in Dadaab, a city in northern Kenya experiencing its second-lowest rainfall in 60 years. Dadaab... More »

N. Korea Allows Private Food Markets

Pro-capitalist policy shift comes amid growing famine

(Newser) - North Korea has effectively admitted that it can't feed its citizens by allowing people to buy food and other necessities at private markets, the Washington Post reports. Such markets have existed under the radar for years, but the government order sanctioning what amounts to capitalism "abandons all pretense of... More »

Geldof Enraged by Report That Live Aid Paid for Weapons

95% of donations siphoned to rebel weapons, says BBC

(Newser) - Live Aid founder Bob Geldof is furious about a BBC report that said 95% of the Live Aid money his organization raised for Ethiopian famine relief in 1985 was diverted to buy weapons for rebel fighters. It's possible that "some money was mislaid, but to suggest it was on... More »

'We Are the World' Sequel to Help Haiti

Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie plan 25th anniversary re-recording

(Newser) - It's "We Are the World" take 2, this time for Haiti. Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie are getting some of the music industry's top stars together for a 25th anniversary re-recording of the song, with proceeds going to earthquake victims. The gathering will probably take place in Los Angeles... More »

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