December 5, 2011 |
The helicopter hovers over the troubled nation of Sheylan, which is limping from drought and civil war. An aid worker turns to you and tells you to conduct an aerial assessment of the crisis and find those in need of food. You nod to the avatar, hunker down in front of your computer, and move your mouse to guide the chopper and scour the fictional scene. It's a video game - but not just any video game brimming with animated adventure. Food Force is part of a broad genre called serious games, and a niche within it whose mission is social awareness and change.
November 30, 2011 |
NAIROBI, Kenya - Aid workers and Somalian residents expressed outrage Tuesday after the extremist organization al-Shabab banned 16 aid groups from its territory, a decision that officials said puts tens of thousands of sick mothers and malnourished children at risk. Tens of thousands of Somalis have died from drought and famine-related causes this year, and the United Nations estimates that 250,000 people still face starvation in a country plagued by violence. Somalis expressed sadness and anger at al-Shabab's decision, one that could further damage a group highly unpopular in many Somalian circles because of its strict social rules and harsh punishments such as amputations and stonings.
August 17, 2011
What do you do with a Somalia? Americans have wanted to have as little to do as possible with the East African nation ever since 19 U.S. soldiers were killed in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, made famous in the 2001 movie Black Hawk Down , which was based on a book by former Inquirer reporter Mark Bowden. But Somalia won't let this country, or any other, it seems, forget that it is still here. It has become the very definition of anarchy, with only a semblance of a government that can do little to control the terrorists, pirates, and warlords who make life in the country miserable.
July 26, 2011 |
DOLO, Somalia - The United Nations will airlift emergency rations this week to parts of drought-ravaged Somalia that extremists banned it from more than two years ago - a crisis intervention to keep hungry refugees from dying along what an official calls the "roads of death. " The foray into the famine zone is a desperate attempt to reach at least 175,000 of the 2.2 million Somalis whom aid workers have not yet been able to help. Tens of thousands have trekked to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, hoping to get aid in refugee camps.
July 23, 2011 |
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al-Qaeda-linked extremists in Somalia vowed to keep most international aid workers out of the country despite a worsening famine, and the United Nations warned Friday that 800,000 children could die in the region from starvation. Frustrated aid groups said they wanted to deploy more food assistance in Somalia but did not yet have the necessary safety guarantees to do so. The anarchic country has been mired in conflict for two decades, and its capital is a war zone.
March 25, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - The United Nations reported Thursday that more than six million North Koreans, about a quarter of the communist state's population, were in urgent need of international food aid. The findings, the result of a needs assessment conducted in February and March, will add to pressure for the United States to resume food aid to North Korea suspended in 2009 after its monitors were expelled. But doing so could be seen as aiding a government that has since advanced its nuclear-weapons programs and is accused of twice attacking U.S. ally South Korea.
October 7, 2010
Chronic hunger in 22 nations ROME - U.N. food agencies said Wednesday that 166 million people in 22 countries suffer chronic hunger or difficulty finding enough to eat as a result of what they called protracted food crises. Wars, natural disasters, and poor government institutions have contributed to a continuous state of undernourishment in the 22 nations, including Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan, the Food and Agriculture Operation and the World Food Program said in a report.
May 5, 2008 |
There was, last week, a glimmer of hope in the world food crisis. Expecting a bumper harvest, Ukraine relaxed restrictions on exports. Overnight, global wheat prices fell by 10 percent. By contrast, traders in Bangkok quote rice prices around $1,000 a ton, up from $460 two months ago. The expectation is that the prices will rise still higher. Such is the volatility of today's markets. We do not know how far food prices might go, nor how far they could eventually fall. But one thing is certain: We have gone from an era of plentitude to one of scarcity.
April 26, 2008
If the Bush administration is looking for a foreign-policy "win," it has a golden opportunity right beneath its nose. What's this big chance? It's the global food crisis. If the White House grabs this brass ring, it could sweeten the bad taste of two failed terms of world leadership. And feed some people in the bargain. The food crisis is the single biggest news event now in the world. For a variety of reasons (oil, ethanol, Chinese demand, etc.), prices are climbing, and fast.
December 16, 2005 |
The World Food Program will halt humanitarian aid to six million North Koreans at the end of this month because the North Korean government says it now has enough food to feed its hungry people, the program's director said yesterday. The director, James Morris, said his agency believed that "there still is a food shortage in the country" and that as many as a third of North Korean women remained anemic and in need of nutritional help. The closure of the humanitarian assistance comes as North Korea is expelling about a dozen nongovernmental aid groups after European condemnation of its human-rights record.