What report we’re reading: The key to alleviating world hunger and poverty may lie in fresh, small-scale approaches to agriculture, according to a report from the Worldwatch Institute. The institute’s annual State of the World report, published this week, calls for “a move away from industrial agriculture and discusses small-scale initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa that work towards poverty and hunger relief” in a sustainable way.
Food insecurity in South Sudan: Southern Sudan will require additional food assistance when the referendum process for its secession bid concludes, a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program indicates. With a violence-free referendum, 1.4 million people will need emergency food assistance during the lean harvest period from March to August 2011, but the number could exceed 2 million if food insecurity rises after the referendum, according to the report.
…And news from North Sudan: Students held protests in the universities of Khartoum and Gezira in north Sudan’s agricultural heartland against proposed cuts in subsidies in petroleum products and sugar, a strategic commodity in Sudan. The cuts come at a politically sensitive time for the government of President Omar Hassan al Bashir, who stands to lose control over the south in the referendum, agreed as part of a 2005 deal to end a north-south civil war.
Global Fund suspends Cote d’Ivoire grants: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has stopped the disbursement of grants for Cote d’Ivoire, citing the ongoing political tension in the African country. The fund’s portfolio in Cote d’Ivoire totals $207 million, with anti-malaria efforts receiving the bulk of the funds. The Fund said the procurement and distribution of lifesaving drugs for people afflicted with HIV and malaria will continue, so long as partner organizations seek its prior approval, Reuters reports.