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[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 5 p.Why Women and Peace? The theme imposed itself. The last year of the 20th century represented an invitation and challenge to recapitulate and remember as well as to compare scores and balance sheets of the turbulent epoch we were leaving behind. No doubt, the 20th century was the century of wars. As never before in human history civilians paid the highest price of conflicts and conflagrations. In the two world wars and innumerable local wars, interventions, internal ethnic clashes, revolutions and coups, more than 100 million people were killed - the vast majority of them being civilians. Sometimes they were directly targeted; at other times they were "collateral damage" - to use an ugly euphemism coined by NATO during its 1999 intervention against Yugoslavia. From Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Vietnam to Pol Pot's Cambodia to Iran-Iraq to Afghanistan to Liberia to Sierra Leone to Rwanda to Burundi to Colombia to Iraq again... it is the civilians who suffered the most and among them, women and childrenas the most vulnerable ones. (excerpt)
Humanist. 1993 Mar-Apr; 53(2): p..The images are so familiar that we have become all but inured to them: starving African children outlined against a broad expense of empty sky; ragged, impoverished families huddled together on a stony steppe. They could be Biafrans in 1968, Sahelians in 1973, or Ethiopians in 1985. The most recent pictures are from Somalia, a barren stretch of East African coastland that juts into the Indian Ocean. Once a consolation prize in the Cold War (the real trophy in the Horn was Ethiopia, a richer and more populous nation), Somalia has since disintegrated into fiefdoms of grizzled warlords armed with Kalashnikovs and AK-47s. Now 2,000 Somalis die every day from hunger and its attendant diseases, and reports from elsewhere in Africa suggest that Somalia is only the beginning; according to the United Nations, 20 million to 60 million people are at risk of starvation throughout the eastern and southern parts of the continent. (author's)
FAO sees decline in 'undernutrition', but the number of hungry continues to grow - Food and Agriculture Organization.
UN Chronicle. 1986 Apr; 23: p..For the first time in 40 years a decline in the incidence of undernutrition in the developing world has been detected by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Rapid population growth, however, has pushed the number of hungry people slightly upwards, according to FAO's Fifth World Food Survey, published in December. "There is evidence of a turn in the tide', FAO Director-General Edouard Saouma states in the foreword to the Survey. But he cautions that there are no grounds for complacency. "As we have seen from the current African food crisis, widespread malnutrition can all too quickly turn into actual famine and starvation'. The Survey provides both high and low estimates of the undernourished, which reflect two interpretations of the body's energy requirements. According to lower estimates, at least 335 million people in the developing market economies were undernourished in 1979-1981, some 10 million more than a decade before. However, the proportion of people suffering from hunger dropped from 19 to 15 per cent of the total population. (excerpt)
Emergency needs total $1 billion; resolve to solve African crisis must not waver, Secretary-General says - Javier Perez de Cuellar.
UN Chronicle. 1986 Feb; 23: p..A "very cautious and conditional expression of hope" was delivered by Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar on 17 December 1985 to an informal meeting of Member States on the African emergency situation. Thanks to the generous international response and to rain which promised better harvests, he said, emergency needs would be down significantly in 1986 but still amount to nearly $1 billion. However, as the situation improved and news of the famine "faded from the front pages", the resolve of the international community to respond adequately might weaken. "We cannot let that happen", said the Secretary-General. "The momentum that has been generated this year must be maintained." The drought highlighted the seriousness of Africa's development crisis, he said, which must be addressed "with the same sense of urgency and in the same concerted and sustained manner which characterized the response to the drought". (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 1984 Mar; 21: p..Africa, the Assembly pointed out, contains three quarters of the countries designated as "least developed" and 50 per cent of the world's land-locked nations. There vulnerable States suffer particularly from the effects of the crises, which touch all sectors of the economy--especially food production and agriculture, the backbone of these primarily rural societies. Drought has swept through the savannas, deserts and coastlines of all parts of Africa. Food shortages are rampant throughout at least half of all African countries, affecting millions of Africans. Hundreds of thousands of cattle have died from lack of feed and epidemics of cattle plague. Rivers and streams have vanished and wells have dried up. At least 150 million persons are faced with starvation in the 24 most seriously affected countries: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Somalia, Swaziland, Togo, United Republic of Tanzania, Upper Volta, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 1984 Jul; 21: p..In a speech on 7 September to the annual conference of the Department of Public Information for Non- Governmental Organizations, Mr. Perez de Cuellar said that "no statistic can convey the real meaning of economic deprivation", adding he had seen first hand how a combination of economic crisis and natural calamity had led to acute and widespread starvation and hunger. It was "unacceptable", he said, "that at a time of economic recovery in the industrial world and of a relatively satisfactory global food situation, millions of African men, women and children should undergo suffering of such magnitude". The international community had to demonstrate its capacity and willingness to help, particularly through the uses of the United Nations system, he added. African leaders were determined to rely primarily on their own efforts and to introduce the necessary changes in their domestic policies to overcome the crisis, he went on. He encouraged them to persevere in these efforts and to strengthen them. "But precisely when they are engaged in this difficult and vast undertaking, the concerted support of the international community should not be denied them." (excerpt)
100-day relief plan for Somalia launched; famine threatens millions with starvation - includes related information on the death of Mohammed Osman.
UN Chronicle. 1992 Dec; 29(4): p..With famine threatening an estimated 4.5 million people with imminent death from starvation, Under-Secretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Eliasson announced on 14 September that UN agencies would undertake a comprehensive 100-day play to accelerate relief efforts in Somalia, including immediate and massive infusions of food and seeds, as well as provision of shelter materials, clean water supplies, basic health services and other efforts to stabilize the society and the economy. Somalia on 20 August had welcomed the emergency relief efforts under way, including the beginning of a two-month emergency airlift of food by the United States. The World Food Programme (WFP) had conducted an airlift, in cooperation with the Red Cross and other agencies, into isolated areas in the interior of Somalia and had for some time been flying in food to Mogadishu and the southern region of the country, where starvation and death were almost widespread. The main challenge, reported the Secretary-General on 28 August (S/24480), was not delivering humanitarian relief supplies to ports and airports in Somalia, but protecting the convoys transporting supplies to warehouse and distribution centres. (excerpt)
As Niger's emergency eases, another crisis looms. [Niger : la situation d'urgence ne s'apaise que pour faire place à une autre crise]
Lancet. 2005 Sep 24; 366(9491):1065-1066.The influx of international aid into Niger and the pending harvest has eased the plight of 3 million people at risk of starvation. But as the crisis recedes in the Sahel region, the UN has sounded the alarm about the deadly combination of drought, poverty, and HIV/AIDS in southern Africa. The UN estimates that up to 10 million people in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Zambia will need assistance during the next 6 months. Aid groups such as CARE International warn that the scale and complexity of the southern African crisis will dwarf that of the Sahel. Zimbabwe is particularly at risk because of the accelerating economic and agricultural collapse, compounded by President Robert Mugabe’s recent clampdown on shack dwellers and street traders, which left some 700 000 people without a home or a job. The UN forecasts that up to 4 million people may need aid but has been unable to launch an appeal for funds because the government refuses to acknowledge the emergency. (excerpt)
Why did helping Niger takes so long? [Pourquoi l'aide a-t-elle mis si longtemps à parvenir au Niger ? ]
Lancet. 2005 Sep 24; 366(9491):1067-1068.When the BBC broadcast horrific images of children starving in Niger in July this year it made big news. More than 5 million people in Niger and three other West African countries faced a catastrophic food shortage. An estimated half a million children, all of whom were facing debilitating malnutrition or death, were predicted to be among the worst hit. The world was shocked into action. Millions of dollars suddenly flowed in from Europe and America. Donations to the UN emergency food agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), increased more than ten-fold after the broadcast. By August, food relief convoys had started rolling, and hundreds of thousands of people began receiving sustenance. It was a testament to the power of the developed world to relieve suffering—when it chooses. Unfortunately, much of the assistance has been too little and too late. Development experts believe that fundamental problems in the way the international aid organisations operate prevented food aid getting to Niger’s population on time. And, left unresolved, these problems will mean that similar scenarios are played out among vulnerable countries in southern Africa, which, the UN has just warned are facing a deadly mix of droughts, governance problems, and HIV/AIDS. (excerpt)
Lancet. 2005 Mar 12; 365:935.Just a few days before the tsunami disaster of Dec 26, 2004, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) published a document on the state of food insecurity in the world. In this document, FAO’s Director-General, Jacques Diouf, stated that 5 million children die every year because of lack of food. This means more than 400 000 deaths every month. In other words, since the tsunami tragedy, the world has silently witnessed a number of deaths which is nearly three times that seen on Dec 26, and which continues to increase at a rate of more than 13 000 each day. Now the risk is that the absolutely necessary and indispensable financial assistance for the victims of the tsunami tragedy will come at the expense of other funds set aside for assistance to countries affected by famine. (excerpt)
Africa Recovery. 2003 May; 17(1): p..Africa today suffers from a "deadly triad" of interrelated burdens -- food insecurity, HIV/AIDS and a reduced capacity to govern and provide basic services -- says UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Therefore, a "new, integrated response from both the governments of Africa and the international community" is needed, he told the Group of 8 (G-8) industrialized countries in early March. That means taking long-term development measures at the same time as giving immediate relief to people suffering from famine, he said. At the beginning of the year, some 25 million Africans required emergency food aid, but quick relief shipments have since eased the threat of starvation in most countries of Southern Africa. (excerpt)
Africa Recovery. 2003 May; 17(1): p..As Southern Africa's HIV/AIDS infection rates combine with widespread famine conditions, the region faces not only sickness and starvation, but also a severe longterm threat to its economies and societies. This twin onslaught of disease and hunger has dire consequences for families, communities and production systems. Agriculture, Africa's economic mainstay, is being hit especially hard. The focus of Africa's latest food emergency is not only the arid, drought-prone Horn of Africa or Sahel regions, but also Southern Africa. Most of its countries are largely fertile, well watered and traditionally self-sufficient in food. One reason for Southern Africa's current crisis is that the region also has the world's highest HIV infection levels. The UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that infection rates in 2002 ranged from 15 per cent of adults in Malawi up to more than 30 per cent in Swaziland and Lesotho and a staggering 39 per cent in Botswana. Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that, as of March, the number of people requiring food assistance in Zimbabwe stood at 7.2 million, or 52 per cent of the population. Nearly 8 million more also need food aid in Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. (excerpt)
Global AIDSLink. 2003 Aug-Sep; (81):10-11.Rampant, unchecked HIV/AIDS, a famine that threatens 7 million of the country's 12 million people with starvation, a tradition of male dominance, a dictatorial president whose land "reforms" have decimated the formerly bountiful farms, and an 80 percent unemployment rate have pushed the once prosperous nation of Zimbabwe to the brink of collapse. As a social activist deeply concerned about AIDS, I've traveled to Zimbabwe three times in the past two years and witnessed the ever-deepening humanitarian crisis there. Since the beginning of the AIDS plague in sub-Saharan Africa more than 20 years ago, our nation has consistently failed to adequately respond. The term "criminal negligence" is not too harsh to describe the way we have averted our eyes from the exploding AIDS pandemic that now imperils the entire region. Finally, President Bush has taken the extraordinary step of promoting a landmark global HIV/AIDS bill (HR 1298) to provide US $15 billion ($3 billion annually for five years) to fight AIDS in parts of southern Africa and the Caribbean; Zimbabwe, however, is not included. Despite the fact that Zimbabwe is the second hardest hit nation in the world, it appears the Zimbabwean people are to be punished for President Mugabe's reign of terror. While it may be understandable that our government chooses not to offer assistance to a country controlled by a dictatorial leader, it is terribly troubling that those among us who generally champion the rights of the oppressed and disenfranchised have also looked away. (excerpt)
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, 2000.  p. (WHO/NHD/00.7)Let us begin with an unequivocal assertion: proper nutrition and health are fundamental human rights. What does this mean? What are the primary links between nutrition and health seen from a human-rights perspective? Firstly, nutrition is a cornerstone that affects and defines the health of all people, rich and poor. It paves the way for us to grow, develop, work, play, resist infection and aspire to realization of our fullest potential as individuals and societies. Conversely, malnutrition makes us all more vulnerable to disease and premature death. Secondly, poverty is a major cause and consequence of ill-health worldwide. Poverty, hunger and malnutrition stalk one another in a vicious circle, compromising health and wreaking havoc on the socioeconomic development of whole countries, entire continents. Nearly 30% of humanity, especially those in developing countries – infants, children, adolescents, adults, and older persons – bear this triple burden. This is a travesty of justice, an abrogation of the most basic human rights. Thirdly, a strong human rights approach is needed to bring on board the millions of people left behind in the 20th century’s health revolution. We must ensure that our values and our vision are anchored in human rights law – only then can they become reality for all people. Ultimately, health and sustainable human development are equity issues. In our globalized 21st century, equity must begin at the bottom, hand in hand with healthy nutrition. Putting first things first, we must also realize that resources allocated to preventing and eliminating disease will be effective only if the underlying causes of malnutrition – and their consequences – are successfully addressed. This is the “gold standard”: nutrition, health and human rights. It makes for both good science and good sense, economically and ethically. Joined in partnership, we have the means to achieve it. (excerpt)
In: Nutrition: a foundation for development, compiled by United Nations. Administrative Committee on Coordination [ACC]. Sub-Committee on Nutrition [SCN]. Geneva, Switzerland, United Nations, Administrative Committee on Coordination [ACC], Sub-Committee on Nutrition [SCN], 2002. 4 p.. (Nutrition: a Foundation for Development, Brief 9)In the past 15 years food insecurity, malnutrition, and disinvestments in health systems have contributed to increasing national crises and made countries more vulnerable to systemic shocks. Over this period the world has experienced an alarming increase in costly humanitarian disasters that have tragically affected millions of people each year. Shocks have included violent internal conflicts; natural traumas such as droughts and hurricanes; economic shocks; and the surging HIV/AIDS epidemic. The greatest numbers of affected people have been those uprooted by war and natural disasters, which doubled from 20 million in 1985 to 40 million in 1994 and remained over 35 million in 1999, and those living with HIV/AIDS, which increased from only a few million in the early 1980s to 34 million in 2000. Besides causing terrible suffering and death, these crises have caused many developing countries to suffer serious economic and food production setbacks. Global expenditures for humanitarian crisis interventions have grown while official development investment has stagnated or declined, adding to the drag on development. For instance, from 1985 to 2000 the World Food Programme shifted the balance of its program toward emergency response and away from sustainable development of food security and nutrition. It is now time to invest in nutrition as a tool for crisis prevention, mitigation, and management for three reasons: 1. Good nutrition relieves the social unrest underlying violent conflict; 2. Good nutrition decreases the human vulnerability that transforms systemic shocks into humanitarian disasters; and 3. Good nutrition lowers the death rate and promotes timely return to equitable and durable development in the aftermath of crises. (excerpt)
POPLINE. 2003 Sep-Oct; 25:4.A warning that the United Nations would cease food relief to famine-stricken Zimbabwe has been issued in response to a government order that it will take over distribution of food aid. An estimated 3.3 million Zimbabweans are in urgent need of food, a number expected to extend to nearly half the country's 12.6 million population by next January, prior to the next harvest season, according to the United Nations World Food Program. (excerpt)
New York, New York, Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, 2003. 5 p.My testimony today will highlight the protection challenges facing women and children in refugee settings, mention a few of the barriers to implementing effective protection programs, and briefly discuss two legislative solutions that address some of these problems. (excerpt)
Relief groups address African crises. Meeting with U.N. envoy focuses on fight against famine, AIDS.
Baltimore Sun. 2002 Dec 3;  p..If food shipments aren't increased in the coming months, millions of Africans will face conditions similar to the Ethiopian famine of the mid-1980s, international relief organizations said today. Fifteen American humanitarian groups met with a United Nations envoy to urge governments, citizens' groups and private citizens to help Africans plagued by famine and AIDS. The relief groups, which include the American Red Cross, Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services, say more than 34 million people in sub-Saharan Africa face death by starvation in the next six to eight months. (excerpt)
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 2002 Nov 30; 325(7375):1257.According to a report by UNAIDS (the joint UN programme on HIV and AIDS) and the World Health Organization, nearly one in five adults in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe has HIV or AIDS, and 14 million people in the region are threatened by famine. The disease has fuelled the food shortage by claiming the lives of seven million agricultural workers in 25 African countries since 1985. As a result the amount of crops farmed has plummeted by up to 60% in some countries. The report, published to coincide with world AIDS day (1 December), warns that similar devastation faces eastern Europe, the central Asian republics, the Middle East, and north Africa, mainly because of an alarming increase in injecting drug use. Indonesia—where injecting drug use was unheard of 10 years ago— now has an estimated 200 000 users. And it is estimated that up to half of injecting drug users in the capital, Jakarta, could be HIV positive, compared with none just four years ago. (excerpt)
New York Times. 2002 Oct 31;  p..The World Health Organization today identified 10 major health risks it said accounted for up to 40 percent of the 56 million deaths around the world each year. The 10 risks are lack of food, unsafe sex, high blood pressure, smoking, alcohol, unsafe water or sanitation, high cholesterol, nutritional deficiencies, obesity and indoor smoke from cooking or heating fires, predominantly in Africa and South Asia. (excerpt)
UN Chronicle. 2001 Sep-Nov; 38(3):58-60.According to the Annual Report 2000 of the World Food Programme (WFP), the increasing number of humanitarian hotspots around the world demanded help from the Programme and the international community. WFP, with other UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), showed that a massive relief effort could avert a famine and save millions of lives. Such effort is accounted for in WFP's response to the drought in the Horn of Africa, Nicaragua and Honduras. WFP also provided search-and- rescue operation, emergency food aid, as well as assisted in the rehabilitation of local infrastructure in countries affected by flood. Moreover, WFP delivered humanitarian aid to refugees and internally displaced persons in countries in conflict and civil unrest. Demining and mine-awareness campaigns have also been incorporated into WFP emergency programs to ensure the safe return of internally displaced persons, and WFP has offered its food distribution sites as locations for mine-awareness activities. In recognizing that HIV/AIDS is both a cause and a consequence of food insecurity, the Programme in 2000 began to address the devastating effects of the pandemic, focusing on families whose food security has been compromised by the disease and supporting prevention activities. The Annual Report states that WFP efforts must include everyone in order to halve the number of undernourished people in the world by the year 2015.
Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition, adopted on 16 November 1974 by the World Food Conference convened under General Assembly resolution 3180 (XXVIII) of 17 December 1973; and endorsed by General Assembly resolution 3348 (XXIX) of 17 December 1974.
[Unpublished]  5 p.This paper presents the universal declaration on the eradication of hunger and malnutrition adopted by the World Food Conference on November 16, 1974. It notes that the Conference, convened by the General Assembly of the UN, was entrusted with developing ways and means whereby the international community could take specific action to resolve the world food problem within the broader context of development and international economic cooperation. Recognizing the immensity of the problem, the conference consequently proclaimed the inalienability of the right of every individual to be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop fully and maintain their physical and mental faculties. Accordingly, Governments should work together for higher food production and a more equitable and efficient distribution of food between countries and within countries. Food problems must be tackled during the preparation and implementation of national plans and programs for economic and social development, with emphasis on their humanitarian aspects. Several recommendations and initiatives are given.
SCN NEWS. 1999 Jul; (18):30-2.The Sub-Committee on Nutrition has supported and made variable contributions to the World Food Programme (WFP) and other humanitarian agencies. As the food agency of the UN, WFP faces challenges in providing food to hungry people in humanitarian and development situations. This paper discusses these challenges. It is noted that in many humanitarian situations, WFP personnel have themselves become targets. Hence, the WFP staff, who believe that it is their foremost responsibility to save lives, are sometimes faced with the dilemma of deciding whether to stay and provide aid or withdraw. In cases where poverty causes malnutrition, the dilemma WFP faces is how to avoid a situation where the provision of assistance from the international community may discourage or substitute efforts by national and local authorities to help their own people. The overall challenge of hunger and poverty in the world is addressed by WFP through the use of food aid as a pre-investment to enable marginalized people to take up development opportunities.
DEEP. DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION EXCHANGE PAPERS. 1997 Dec; 20-1.In 1997, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) broadcast its first global television program on the theme of "Food for All" to an audience of approximately 450 million viewers. The objective of "TeleFood" was to raise awareness of the scale of the problem and to encourage solidarity in the fight against hunger. TeleFood raised funds to support the FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) and similar grassroots projects that target rural people in developing countries. The SPFS project, now operational in 19 countries and being formulated in 32 more, emphasizes national ownership, farmer participation, environmental awareness, and recognition of the role of women in food production and marketing. The 3-year SPFS pilot phase involves 1) small-scale water harvesting, irrigation, and drainage; 2) sustainable intensification of crop production; 3) diversification of production; and 4) removal of policies that impede food security. Results to date include 1) greatly increased maize and potato yields in Bolivia and more modest increases in Nepal; 2) doubled yields of maize and rice in Tanzania; and 3) expansion of the area under low-cost irrigation in Zambia. South-South cooperation is allowing some developing countries to benefit from experience gained in other developing countries. The pilot activities are being funded with an increasing number of "soft" loans from governments and financial institutions.
DEEP. DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION EXCHANGE PAPERS. 1997 Dec; 18-9.The World Food Summit (WFS) charged the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Committee on World Food Security (CFS) with monitoring the implementation of the WFS's Plan of Action and target for reducing the number of undernourished people. In April 1997, the CFS held its first discussions about the monitoring procedures and heard reports from countries that had begun development of national action plans. In 1997-98, a provisional reporting system will allow governments, UN agencies, and other international organizations to report on actions taken to implement the commitments contained in the WFS Plan of Action. In June 1998, the CFS considered a standard reporting format for the future. During 1997, all of the FAO technical committees discussed WFS follow-up, and follow-up will be included on the agendas of 1998 FAO regional conferences. All reports submitted to the CFS will be widely disseminated. Part of the WFS process will include further monitoring of the 1992 International Conference on Nutrition commitments. The CFS also encouraged the continued involvement of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and took measures to broaden NGO participation.