Archive for the ‘hunger and malnutrition’ Category

New From the GAO

September 24, 2012 Comments off

New GAO Report

Source: Government Accountability Office

International Food Assistance: Improved Targeting Would Help Enable USAID to Reach Vulnerable Groups. GAO-12-862, September 24.
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New From the GAO

September 13, 2012 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimonies

Source: Government Accountability Office

+ Reports

1. Biosurveillance: DHS Should Reevaluate Mission Need and Alternatives before Proceeding with BioWatch Generation-3 Acquisition. GAO-12-810, September 10.
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2. Securities Investor Protection Corporation: Customer Outcomes in the Madoff Liquidation Proceeding. GAO-12-991, September 13.
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3. Public Financial Management: Improvements Needed in USAID’s and Treasury’s Monitoring and Evaluation Efforts. GAO-12-920, September 13.
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4. Slot-Controlled Airports: FAA’s Rules Could Be Improved to Enhance Competition and Use of Available Capacity. GAO-12-902, September 13.
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5. Trade Adjustment Assistance: Commerce Program Has Helped Manufacturing and Services Firms, but Measures, Data, and Funding Formula Could Improve. GAO-12-930, September 13.
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Related Product

Trade Adjustment Assistance: Results of GAO’s Survey of Participant Firms in the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms Program (GAO-12-935SP, September 2012), an E-supplement to GAO-12-930. GAO-12-935SP, September 13.

6. World Food Program: Stronger Controls Needed in High-Risk Areas. GAO-12-790, September 13.
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7. Industrial Base: U.S. Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Manufacturers Face Period of Uncertainty as DOD Purchases Decline and Foreign Sales Potential Remains Unknown. GAO-12-859, September 13.
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8. Community Banks and Credit Unions: Impact of the Dodd-Frank Act Depends Largely on Future Rule Makings. GAO-12-881, September 13.
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9. Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996: Status of Treasury’s Centralized Efforts to Collect Delinquent Federal Nontax Debt. GAO-12-870R, September 13.

10. Financial Stability: New Council and Research Office Should Strengthen the Accountability and Transparency of Their Decisions. GAO-12-886, September 11.
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+ Testimonies

1. Spectrum Management: Federal Government’s Use of Spectrum and Preliminary Information on Spectrum Sharing, by Mark L. Goldstein, director, physical infrastructure issues, before the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-12-1018T, September 13.
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2. Biosurveillance: Observations on BioWatch Generation-3 and Other Federal Efforts, by William O. Jenkins, Jr., director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittees on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications and Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, House Homeland Security Committee. GAO-12-994T, September 13.
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Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?

August 13, 2012 Comments off

Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

Expectations are high that transition in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen will bring about more freedom, justice, and economic opportunities. However, experiences from other world regions show that countries in transition are at high risk of entering conflicts, which often come at large economic, social and political costs. In order to identify options on how conflict may be prevented in Arab transition countries, this paper assesses the key global drivers of conflicts based on a dataset from 1960 to 2010 and improved cross-country regression techniques. Results show that unlike in other studies where per capita incomes, inequality, and poor governance, among other factors, emerge as the major determinants of conflict, food security at macro- and micro-levels emerges as the main cause of conflicts in the Arab world. This “Arab exceptionalism in conflict” suggests that improving food security is not only important for improving the lives of rural and urban people; it is also likely to be the key for a peaceful transition.

A Roadmap to End Global Hunger

July 31, 2012 Comments off

A Roadmap to End Global Hunger
Source: World Food Program USA

The Roadmap for Continued U.S. Leadership to End Global Hunger celebrates the U.S. role in responding to humanitarian crises and alleviating chronic hunger. To ensure U.S. programs to fight global hunger continue to positively impact the lives of millions of people in need, the Roadmap outlines six recommendations for future action.

Inertia of the Humanitarian System Means More Famines are Inevitable

July 26, 2012 Comments off

Inertia of the Humanitarian System Means More Famines are Inevitable
Source: Chatham House

Early warnings that could prevent food shortages from developing into famines are not triggering early action among humanitarian agencies or donor governments, resulting in thousands of avoidable deaths, says a new Chatham House report. Instead, the humanitarian system tends to mobilize only once a crisis hits, when it is by definition too late to prevent an emergency.

Modern early warning systems provide a crucial window of opportunity during which the humanitarian system can intervene to avert disaster and prevent the downward spiral into destitution and starvation that can follow from drought. This opportunity is being wasted, according to the report, launched on the first anniversary of the 2011 Somalia famine declaration.

The report author, Rob Bailey, says, ‘Organizations need to look carefully at how they can reward decision-makers for appropriate early action and penalize inappropriate delay. Unless the humanitarian system gets to grips with the fundamental constraints of perverse incentives and adverse politics, more avoidable catastrophes are inevitable.’

Estimating the Range of Food-Insecure Households in India

June 18, 2012 Comments off

Estimating the Range of Food-Insecure Households in India
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

This study provides a quantitative assessment of food security using a large household-level expenditure survey conducted by the Government of India during 2004/05. The analysis tests the impact of several key assumptions required to estimate actual calories consumed from the expenditure data. The authors found significant differences in the estimates of calories consumed and the number of food-insecure people under alternative plausible assumptions for computing the calorie content of nonprocessed foods, processed foods, and meals eaten outside the household. The measurement errors were largest in accounting for calories consumed by the highest and lowest income households. Overall, the difference between the highest and lowest estimate of the number of people consuming an average of less than 2,100 calories per day was equivalent to about 17 percent of India’s population, or 173 million people in 2004/05. Given the significant measurement error in estimating calories consumed, it is important to consider not only consumption surveys, but also aggregate food availability studies and survey data on anthropometric measures that accompany undernourishment—such as growth stunting—in assessing food insecurity.

From L’Aquila to Camp David: Sustaining the Momentum on Global Food and Nutrition Security

May 23, 2012 Comments off

From L’Aquila to Camp David: Sustaining the Momentum on Global Food and Nutrition Security (PDF)
Key Points

  • U.S. leadership on global hunger and food security has been instrumental in leveraging substantial additional resources and reversing decades
    of decline in funding for agricultural development.

  • The 2012 G-8 Summit at Camp David is an important opportunity for President Obama and other G-8 leaders to take stock of the progress made by the 2009 G-8 Summit’s L’Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) and reaffirm their commitment to improve smallholder agriculture.
  • Since 2009, the United States has also helped raise awareness of the urgency of improving nutrition in the critical 1,000 Day window between pregnancy and age 2. G-8 leaders should endorse the Scaling Up Nutrition movement, commit to a bold nutrition target to mobilize action, and ensure that investments in agriculture are improving maternal and child nutrition.
  • Building on the foundation laid by AFSI, future investments should also focus on building resilience in communities; strengthening local capacity to address chronic food insecurity and respond to crises; mainstreaming gender; and adapting to climate change.
  • Moving forward, it is critical that there is greater transparency around commitments and investments.

Effective Development Assistance: Now is the Time

May 20, 2012 Comments off

Effective Development Assistance: Now is the Time (PDF)
Source:  Bread for the World Institute

Bread for the World and other organizations working to end global hunger frequently talk about development assistance and how it can help hungry people overseas. But what exactly is development assistance? And why should we support funding for it when many Americans are facing hard times?

Senior Hunger Report Card™ from Meals On Wheels Research Foundation Finds America Failing Nation’s Seniors

May 18, 2012 Comments off
The Meals On Wheels Research Foundation (MOWRF) today issued the first annual Senior Hunger Report Card™ (Report Card), which evaluates the nation’s performance in reducing food insecurity and eradicating hunger. The Senior Hunger Report Card™ examined America’s progress in eight categories and assigned grades including the following:
  • A grade of “F” for Overall Performance: 8.3 million seniors faced the threat of hunger in 2010. This reflects a 78% increase since 2001 – and a 34% increase since the start of the recession in 2007.
  • A grade of “F” for Economics: Since 2009 and the end of the recession, the risk of hunger for the overall US population has declined. However, during the same time period food insecurity increased among those age 60 and older – primarily among the near-poor, with income one to two times the poverty level.
  • A grade of “F” for Women’s Studies: The effects of food insecurity are disproportionately borne by women, who make up over 60% of seniors facing the threat of hunger. Senior women are more likely to face the threat of hunger than their male counterparts – and the gender gap has widened since 2009.
  • A grade of “F” in Ethics: In the richest nation on Earth, more than 1 in 7 seniors is threatened by hunger. This increase from 1 in 9 seniors in 2005 foretells an alarming human cost if this national crisis is not reversed.
  • Other grades include: a “D-” for Geography, a “D+” for Multicultural Studies, a “C-” for Home Economic and an Incomplete for Health & Physical Education.

State of the World’s Mothers

May 8, 2012 Comments off

State of the World’s MothersSource: Save the Children
From press release:

Save the Children’s thirteenth State of the World’s Mothers report shows Niger as the worst place to be a mother in the world — replacing Afghanistan for the first time in two years. Norway comes in at first place. The Best and Worst Places to Be a Mom ranking, which compares 165 countries around the globe, looks at factors such as a mother’s health, education and economic status, as well as critical child indicators such as health and nutrition. This year, the United States ranks 25th.

This year, ahead of a crucial G8 meeting where President Obama is expected to discuss food and agriculture, the State of the World’s Mothers report focuses on nutrition as one of the key factors in determining mothers’ and their children’s well-being. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of at least a fifth of maternal mortality and more than a third of child deaths.

Of the ten countries at the bottom of Save the Children’s annual index, seven are in the midst of a food crisis. Niger, in bottom place, is currently in the grip of a worsening hunger situation, threatening the lives of a million children. Four of the bottom ten countries have seen an increase in stunting over the past two decades — where children’s mental and physical growth is permanently blighted by malnutrition.

Is Food Insecurity Associated with HIV Risk? Cross-Sectional Evidence from Sexually Active Women in Brazil

April 14, 2012 Comments off
Source:  PLoS Medicine
Understanding how food insecurity among women gives rise to differential patterning in HIV risks is critical for policy and programming in resource-limited settings. This is particularly the case in Brazil, which has undergone successive changes in the gender and socio-geographic composition of its complex epidemic over the past three decades. We used data from a national survey of Brazilian women to estimate the relationship between food insecurity and HIV risk.
Methods and Findings
We used data on 12,684 sexually active women from a national survey conducted in Brazil in 2006–2007. Self-reported outcomes were (a) consistent condom use, defined as using a condom at each occasion of sexual intercourse in the previous 12 mo; (b) recent condom use, less stringently defined as using a condom with the most recent sexual partner; and (c) itchy vaginal discharge in the previous 30 d, possibly indicating presence of a sexually transmitted infection. The primary explanatory variable of interest was food insecurity, measured using the culturally adapted and validated Escala Brasiliera de Segurança Alimentar. In multivariable logistic regression models, severe food insecurity with hunger was associated with a reduced odds of consistent condom use in the past 12 mo (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.48–0.92) and condom use at last sexual intercourse (AOR = 0.75; 95% CI, 0.57–0.98). Self-reported itchy vaginal discharge was associated with all categories of food insecurity (with AORs ranging from 1.46 to 1.94). In absolute terms, the effect sizes were large in magnitude across all outcomes. Underweight and/or lack of control in sexual relations did not appear to mediate the observed associations.
Severe food insecurity with hunger was associated with reduced odds of condom use and increased odds of itchy vaginal discharge, which is potentially indicative of sexually transmitted infection, among sexually active women in Brazil. Interventions targeting food insecurity may have beneficial implications for HIV prevention in resource-limited settings.

Enabling and Equipping Women to Improve Nutrition

April 4, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Bread for the World Institute
Malnutrition during the 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday has irreversible physical, cognitive, and health consequences, reducing a person’s lifetime earning potential. For many countries with high rates of hunger and malnutrition, the low status of women is a primary cause. Women often have less education, lower economic status, and limited decisionmaking power in the household and community—all of which contribute to poorer nutrition.

See also: Improving Food Aid to Improve Maternal and Child Nutrition (PDF)

2012 Hunger Report — Rebalancing Act: Updating U.S. Food and Farm Policies

March 30, 2012 Comments off

2012 Hunger Report — Rebalancing Act: Updating U.S. Food and Farm PoliciesSource: Bread for Food Institute
From press release:

A new report released today by Bread for the World Institute calls for more determined thinking about how U.S. food and farm policies can meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The report proposes a rebalancing of farm policies to improve efficiency, encourage production and distribution of healthy foods, support rural development, and help farmers manage risk more efficiently.

“Congress has a great opportunity to trim our federal deficit and fix our broken food system,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World Institute. “Tomorrow the congressional Super Committee will report on how it plans to save taxpayer dollars. Today we are offering a solution that will not only save money but save our country’s small farmers.”

The new report, Hunger Report 2012: Rebalancing Act: Updating U.S. Food and Farm Policies, calls for a shift from the current patchwork of farm subsidies to a comprehensive revenue insurance program. A well-designed plan would better meet the needs of farmers, reach more farmers, provide a healthy food supply for all, be less trade-distorting, help the environment, and save taxpayer dollars.At a time when so many families depend on food assistance, the report calls for protecting SNAP benefits.

The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2011 Annual Report

March 22, 2012 Comments off

The Food Assistance Landscape: FY 2011 Annual Report
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture

This report examines trends in USDA’s food and nutrition assistance programs through fiscal 2011. It also summarizes a number of ERS research reports on WIC-related topics that were released in fiscal 2011.

+ Full Report (PDF)

CRS — Horn of Africa Region: The Humanitarian Crisis and International Response

January 31, 2012 Comments off

Horn of Africa Region: The Humanitarian Crisis and International Response (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

As a result of the worst drought in 60 years, regional conflicts, and conflict within states, a humanitarian emergency of massive proportion has unfolded over the past year in the Horn of Africa region. Current estimates suggest that more than 13.3 million people are currently affected, 250,000 of whom need food assistance in the near term to avoid death. Somalia has been hardest hit so far, creating population displacement within its borders and a refugee crisis of nearly 1 million people in the region, primarily in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The international community continues to respond with a massive humanitarian operation that reached full strength in mid 2011. Although food security has begun to improve, the situation remains very fragile, particularly in southern Somalia, where conditions are considered among the worst in the world. Humanitarian needs are expected to demand sustained attention well into 2012. While life-saving assistance is the current priority, long-term responses may be needed to break the disaster cycle in the Horn. Though triggered by drought, the humanitarian emergency is complicated by political and security pressures within, between, and among the various countries in the region. The recent deterioration of security conditions along the Kenya-Somali border, security incidents within the Dadaab refugee camp complex in northeast Kenya, and increasing restrictions by Al Shabaab, an Islamist insurgency led by an Al Qaeda affiliate, on humanitarian access in Somalia all have had an impact on the relief effort.

This report provides an overview of the current status of the crisis, summary background on the region, a framework for the international and humanitarian response, and an analysis of some of the operational challenges.

The role of the 112th Congress, which has so far focused on the crisis in hearings, legislation, and congressional correspondence with the Administration, is also examined, particularly with regard to funding questions, including:

  • budget priorities on global humanitarian accounts and food aid;
  • diversion of food aid;
  • donor restrictions on aid; and
  • burdensharing and donor fatigue.

It is anticipated Congress will continue to follow and respond to events as they unfold in the Horn.

Briefing on U.S. Efforts in the Humanitarian Crisis in the Horn of Africa

January 27, 2012 Comments off

As you all know, on July 20th, 2011, some six months ago, famine was declared in parts of the Horn of Africa. So today, we have invited senior members from the State Department to provide an update on continued U.S. efforts to respond to the humanitarian crisis in the region as well as some of the ongoing security challenges that exist.

So joining us today are Bruce Wharton, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy for the Bureau of African Affairs; David Robinson, who is the Acting Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration; and Nancy Lindborg, who is the Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development. They’ll each speak briefly at the top here and then we’ll open it up to your questions.

World Disasters Report 2011- Focus on hunger and malnutrition

October 24, 2011 Comments off

World Disasters Report 2011- Focus on hunger and malnutrition
Source: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

This year’s World Disasters Report focuses on the growing crisis of hunger and malnutrition. Smallholder farmers who produce half the world’s food are among the almost 1 billion people who go to bed hungry every night. Millions of children suffer the irreversible effects of undernutrition. Increasing food insecurity weakens people’s resilience to disasters and disease, and people everywhere are experiencing the increasing volatility of food prices.

This year’s World Disasters Report focuses on the growing crisis of hunger and malnutrition. Smallholder farmers who produce half the world’s food are among the almost 1 billion people who go to bed hungry every night. Millions of children suffer the irreversible effects of undernutrition. Increasing food insecurity weakens people’s resilience to disasters and disease, and people everywhere are experiencing the increasing volatility of food prices.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Nearly One in Four of Nation’s Households with Children Report Inability to Afford Enough Food

October 14, 2011 Comments off

Nearly One in Four of Nation’s Households with Children Report Inability to Afford Enough Food
Source: Food Research and Action Center

Nearly one in four U.S. households with children struggled to afford enough food for themselves and their families in 2010, according to a new report released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The analysis separately examines food hardship rates – the inability to afford enough food – for households with children and without children nationally and in every state, every Congressional District and 100 of the country’s largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

FRAC’s Food Hardship in America series analyzes data that were collected by Gallup and provided to FRAC. The data were gathered as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index project, which has interviewed more than one million households since January 2008. FRAC has analyzed responses to the question: “Have there been times in the past twelve months when you did not have enough money to buy food that you or your family needed?”

The analysis released today shows that food hardship rates are very high both for households with children and for households without children. Nationally in 2010 the food hardship rate for households without children was 14.9 percent, and it was 23.4 percent for families with children.

When examining state data just for households without children, every state (except for one) reports food hardship rates higher than 10 percent in 2009-2010 and five states report rates of 20 percent or higher.

But, not surprisingly, given relative national poverty and hunger rates, the situation for households with children is far worse.

+ Full Report (PDF)

Eating Disorders

September 18, 2011 Comments off

Eating Disorders
Source: National Institute of Mental Health

A detailed booklet that describes the symptoms, causes, and treatments of eating disorders.

Hunger Among Older Americans Spikes Nearly 80 Percent Since 2001

September 2, 2011 Comments off

Hunger Among Older Americans Spikes Nearly 80 Percent Since 2001
Source: AARP

Nearly 9 million Americans 50 and older face the risk of hunger according to new research commissioned by AARP Foundation. The report, “Food Insecurity Among Older Adults,” found more than nine percent of older Americans were at risk of hunger in 2009—a 79 percent increase since 2001.

The research, produced by James P. Ziliak of the University of Kentucky and Craig Gundersen of the University of Illinois, is the first of its kind to examine hunger risk among people age 50 to 59—the youngest of the baby boomers. Because they are typically too young for Social Security and too old to qualify for programs designed for families with children, this age group can be hit particularly hard in bad economic times. In 2009, 4.9 million 50- to 59-year-olds were at risk of hunger, representing a staggering 38 percent increase over 2007.

+ Full Report


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