Humanitarian News Brief

by Kathryn Reid and Chris Huber on May 29, 2015

Despite progress, hunger persists, especially in conflict zones
The number of people in the world who are undernourished has dropped to 795 million or one in nine, says the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015.” Economic growth and increased agriculture production have helped, the report says. However, hunger rates are three times higher in countries experiencing long-term crises due to conflict or natural disasters. Of 24 African countries facing severe food shortages, most have suffered shortages for years because of internal conflicts. To meet the target of eliminating world hunger by 2030, the report recommends social protection schemes for the most impoverished in developing countries, including cash transfers to poor farmers and free school meals.

US: Texas, Oklahoma endure week of deadly floods, tornadoes
Severe weather throughout the Midwest last week killed at least 24 people in Texas and Oklahoma, news reports said. A series of massive rainstorms over Houston caused flash floods that submerged parts of the metro area, stranded vehicles, and triggered emergency evacuations. World Vision staff and volunteers rushed relief supplies from its north Texas warehouse to local churches and organizations for distribution in affected areas. The warehouse holds prepositioned aid, including food kits, flood cleanup kits, and personal hygiene supplies.

India: Prolonged heat wave takes toll as residents pray for rain
One of India’s longest heat waves in years has claimed 1,800 lives, according to The Times of India. including more than 1,750 Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. Temperatures climbed to as high as 118 F in the worst affected areas of Telangana, which includes the major city of Hyderabad. Weather authorities expect rain in coastal areas sometime this week, but people living inland may not get relief from the heat until mid-June, World Vision staff in India report. World Vision works throughout Andhra Pradesh and Telangana but has yet to report any deaths among children benefiting from sponsorship. U.S. sponsors support more than 10,000 children in the affected areas.

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