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TOPIC: world food programme


In Northern Kenya, Where Climate Change Is Measured In Starving Children

The worst drought in 40 years, which has deepened from the effects of climate change, is hitting the young the hardest around the Horn of Africa. A close-up look at the victims, and attempts to save lives and limit lasting effects on an already fragile region in Kenya.

This article originally appeared on Inside Climate News, a nonprofit, independent news organization that covers climate, energy and the environment. It is republished with permission. Sign up for their newsletter here.

KAKUMA — The words "Stabilization Ward" are painted in uneven black letters above the entrance, but everyone in this massive refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, calls it ya maziwa: The place of milk.

Rescue workers and doctors, mothers and fathers, have carried hundreds of starving children through the doors of this one-room hospital wing, which is sometimes so crowded that babies and toddlers have to share beds. A pediatric unit is only a few steps away, but malnourished children don’t go there. They need special care, and even that doesn’t always save them.

In an office of the International Rescue Committee nearby, Vincent Opinya sits behind a desk with figures on dry-erase boards and a map of the camp on the walls around him. “We’ve lost 45 children this year due to malnutrition,” he says, juggling emergencies, phone calls, and texts. “We’re seeing a significant increase in malnutrition cases as a result of the drought — the worst we’ve faced in 40 years.”

From January to June, the ward experienced an 800 percent rise in admissions of children under 5 who needed treatment for malnourishment — a surge that aid groups blame mostly on a climate change-fueled drought that has turned the region into a parched barren.

Opinya, the nutrition manager for the IRC here, has had to rattle off these statistics many times, but the reality of the numbers is starting to crack his professional armor. “It’s a very sad situation,” he says, wearily. And he believes it will only get worse. A third year of drought is likely on the way.

More children may die. But millions will survive malnutrition and hunger only to live through a compromised future, researchers say. The longer-term health effects of this drought — weakened immune systems, developmental problems — will persist for a generation or more, with consequences that will cascade into communities and societies for decades.

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Lab-Grown Meat: Is That What's For Dinner?

Among the innovations expected to change how our food is made is artificial meat. The results will feed more people and be environmentally friendlier.

BUENOS AIRES —The world's food production system is bankrupt, and innovations that could help solve this enormous global issue include lab-grown meat, vertical farms and 3D food design.

This is the scenario laid out by food security expert Nicholas Haan at the recent InnovatiBA conference organized in Buenos Aires to discuss possible solutions. The World Food Program estimates that some 870 million people worldwide suffer from malnutrition, which means that one in eight people can't lead healthy, active lives because they don't have access to proper nutrition. That means the system is failing to assure a basic human right, Haan says.

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A Scorched Wheat Policy From All Sides In Syria

The staple crop is so strategic that it has been targeted from all sides in the Syrian Civil War.

Domestic harvests provide at least half of Syria's total national consumption of wheat, giving many farmers one of their sole sources of income for the entire year. When fires devoured thousands of acres of wheat earlier this year, many Syrian, particularly these farmers, were hit hard.

In the Idlib province, numerous farmers claim the government's intense bombardments are intended to destroy their wheat crops "The regime deliberately burned all the land surrounding its last stronghold in Idlib, the Abu al-Dhour military airport," said Ghazwan al-Idlbi, a media activist.

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