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More news on the food crisis

© UNICEF/HQ99-0619/Giacomo Pirozzi

As we work to get a sense of the full extent of damage from the cyclone in Myanmar, we’re also continuing to stay on top of news connected to the food crisis. And the news in that department is not good.

Food prices have increased so much, so quickly that in countries like Haiti, Bangladesh, Egypt, Somalia, among others, people have been protesting and even rioting to convey the full extent of their hunger. A recent article in the New York Times quoted a Haitian man, Saint Louis Meriska, describe what it means to have no food to give his children. “They look at me and say, ‘Papa, I’m hungry,’ and I have to look away. It’s humiliating and it makes you angry.”

The anger Saint Louis Meriska feels over not being able to feed his kids is being experienced by millions of others like him all around the globe. Even the U.S. military is concerned over the worldwide unrest stemming from the food crisis and has begun conducting its own investigation into the crisis, which, it worries, could become a potential “defense issue.” In Afghanistan, the 75 percent increase in the cost of wheat flour has fueled widespread anger against the U.S.-backed government there, raising fears that the food crisis may actually be boosting recruitment for the Taliban insurgency.

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How the food crisis affects kids

© Thomas Fuller/The International Herald Tribune

There was an excellent article in the New York Times yesterday that explains how the global food crisis is affecting kids. The article looks at a school in Cambodia as a case study in the larger emergency that is threatening children from Southeast Asia and Africa, to Haiti and beyond.

Have a look here: www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/world/asia/30cambodia.html

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The growing food crisis

— If you’ve followed the news at all in the last few weeks, you’re probably aware of the developing worldwide food crisis. This has been THE story of late, and it’s news we are watching very closely.

So what, exactly, is going on? Well, a whole lot, actually. First off, destructive weather events (which, some argue, are due to climate change) have caused whole seasons of crops to fail in certain parts of the world. In Bangladesh, for instance, Cyclone Sidr tore through the costal districts of the country last November and now, six months later, there’s no rice harvest. In Somalia, the worst drought in decades is scorching plant life and killing livestock.

© UNICEF/ HQ98-0527/Giacomo Pirozzi

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New look for the Online Volunteer Center

— As you can tell by looking at the unicefusa.org website, we have a whole new look. We also have a new and improved Online Volunteer Center. Our volunteers received an email asking them to be among the first to log into the Online Volunteer Center, take a look around and let us know their thoughts. […]

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Thank you from Clay Aiken

In December, UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken visited children affected by the recent flooding in Mexico and made an appeal for $100,000 to support UNICEF programs.

Well, you did it again! I asked you to join me in supporting UNICEF programs in Mexico this holiday season and you exceeded my expectations. More than $100,000 before the end of the year–AMAZING! Thank you all so much.

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[In the Field] Christmas Greetings from Clay Aiken in Mexico

UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken is visiting UNICEF projects for children affected by the recent floods in Mexico. He sent the following post from the field.

Merry Christmas to all from Mexico!

The past couple of days have been crazy

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