Monday, April 07, 2014

WFP Director Etharine Cousin: Touched by the Faces of Extreme Hunger

Photo: World Food Programme
Etharin Cousin, who was appointed as 12th executive director of the World Food Programme in April 2012, was the keynote speaker at a conference sponsored by the Institute of  International and European Affairs in Dublin, Ireland, in March 2014. Ms. Cousin talked about a visit to an exhibit about the Great Irish Famine, which shows some of the faces of the approximately 1.5 million Irish men, women and children died of starvation or related diseases.

"The expressions of those faces was very, very similar and familiar to me. They were faces I've seen in too many places today around the world...whether it's in a refugee camp in Dadaab...a mother in a refugee camp in Jordan who fled the Syrian conflict...or it's in The Philippines...talking to a mother or father who lost everything because of  [Typhoon Haiyan] because of the food that we are bringing.

While we are all thankful that the famines that created the history and have become a part of the history of this country are rare today, the reality is the challenge of lack of food, lack of access to nutritious food still exists.  And, unfortunately, in 2014 babies still die because of lack of access to food. 

So, people as, Is there a hunger crisis? Of course, there is a hunger crisis/  If 842 million people are food insecre  and 165 million children are chronically malnourished, that is a crisis. It is particularly a crisis because we know the answers on how to overcome food insecurity. "   

London newspaper The Telegraph has a great article about the WFP executive director.
Ertharin Cousin often wakes up at night, haunted by things she’s seen. It’s part of her job, as the executive director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), to travel to some of the poorest countries in the world, and one particular experience has stuck with her: seeing two children in Somalia, the age of her own grandchildren, who were so malnourished they couldn’t move.  Read full article

Crisis in Central African Republic

(Note: The World Food Programme is providing assistance to refugees affected by an extreme crisis in the Central African Republic. The situation, which we wrote about in this blog a few weeks ago, has worsened. Here an update from The Telegraph

Click here to see how you can help the WFP respond to the crisis).

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