Tag Archives: Hunger

Is Shell’s exit from Nigeria a front to dodge legal responsibilities?

The oil giant is selling its Niger Delta subsidiary – but lending the new owners the money for the purchase

By Andy Rowell and James Marriot Published 6-6-2024 by openDemocracy

Damaged trees in the Niger Delta following the 2008 Bodo oil spill. Photo: Sosialistisk Ungdom (SU)/flickr/CC

Nigerian activists believe Shell’s apparent end to its 87-year operation in the country is an effort to avoid its legal responsibilities while holding onto the potentially profitable side of the business.

In January, the oil giant revealed it had “reached an agreement to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary” to Renaissance, a consortium of four Nigerian oil firms and one based in Switzerland.

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‘Deplorable’: Iowa’s GOP Governor Opts Out of Summer Food Program for Kids

“Announcing three days before Christmas that we’ve deliberately chosen not to feed hungry kids? The Dickensian parallels write themselves,” said the board chair of the Iowa Hunger Coalition.

By Jake Johnson. Published 12-25-2023 by Common Dreams

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds speaking with attendees at Governor Reynolds’s Fair-Side Chats at JR’s South Pork Ranch at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. 2023. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC

Iowa’s Republican-led government sparked outrage late last week by declining to participate in a federal program that would have provided low-income residents with $40 a month in additional food assistance during the coming summer.

Created by the U.S. Congress late last year, the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) for Children program aims to boost nutrition benefits for families with school-aged children who typically receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year. Starting in summer 2024, eligible families will receive a prepaid debit card with $40 per child for three months.

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Carbon markets that benefit the West will not solve Africa’s climate crisis

Western interests dominated the Africa Climate Summit. Time for African nations to put themselves first

-By Claire Nasike and Peter Osogo Published 9-15-2023 by openDemocracy

The First Africa Climate Summit was held at the Kenyatta International Convention Center in Nairobi, Kenya on September 6 2023. Photo: Paul Kagame/flickr/CC

The Africa Climate Summit 2023 in Kenya last week united African leaders for a discussion on the climate crisis, with a specific focus on Africa and its policy stance ahead of COP28 in Dubai.

One would have expected African leaders to propose sovereign solutions to the challenges faced by their countries. These include recurrent hunger, flooding, drought, resource exploitation, water and soil pollution, and control of food systems by Western corporations.

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UN should be learning from sustainable food producers – not hosting Big Ag

Small-scale farmers and Indigenous groups say they have again been shut out of the UN Food Systems Summit

By Shalmali Guttal and Sofia Monsalve. Published 7-21-2023 by openDemocracy

With support from Oxfam, small-scale farmers in Tanzania are thriving. Photo: Alun McDonald/Oxfam/CC

A UN summit on global food systems should be an opportunity to address structural inequalities and tackle hunger. It should be a chance to learn from small-scale producers whose sustainable food practices feed 70% of the world. Instead, next week’s conference in Rome will be a festival of greenwashing, allowing Big Agriculture corporations to tighten their grip on food systems.

This will be the second Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). The first, in 2021 was supposed to address the lack of progress towards the UN’s sustainable development goals. It was dubbed a “people’s summit” by the organisers, but caused an outcry among local producers when their calls to roll back the power of transnational corporations were cynically ignored.

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Amid Soaring Poverty and Hunger, Amnesty Demands ‘Universal Social Protection’ Worldwide

“We cannot continue to look away as inequality soars, and those struggling are left to suffer,” said Amnesty International’s secretary-general.

By Jake Johnson. Published 5-10-2023 by Common Dreams

An urban slum in Hanoi, Viet Nam. Photo: United Nations/flickr/CC

With global poverty and hunger rising amid the intertwining crises of war, public health emergencies, and climate change, Amnesty International on Wednesday issued an urgent call for governments worldwide to implement universal social protections to ensure that healthcare, childcare, pensions, disability payments, and other benefits are available to all who need them.

Noting that many popular uprisings and mass protests across the globe in recent years have been fueled by economic and social concerns, Amnesty lamented that governments have turned to “repression and unnecessary and excessive use of force” against struggling demonstrators instead of addressing their core concerns, such as high food prices and paltry wages.

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Amnesty Demands Civilian Protections in Sudan as Death Toll Soars

“The parties to the conflict must immediately stop using explosive weapons with wide area effects in the vicinity of concentrations of civilians,” said Amnesty International’s regional director for East and Southern Africa.

By Kenny Stancil. Published 4-17-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: Naija/Twitter

As an armed conflict between Sudan’s military and a paramilitary group intensifies in the capital Khartoum and surrounding areas, Amnesty International on Monday implored the warring factions to protect civilians and ensure access to humanitarian aid.

Since fighting erupted between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Saturday, more than 180 people have been killed and over 1,800 people have been wounded, U.N News reported Monday, citing United Nations envoy Volker Perthes.

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Iowa Republicans Push ‘Profoundly Cruel and Petty’ Food Benefit Restrictions

Under the new legislation, Iowans would no longer be allowed to purchase fresh meat, white grains, nuts, canned fruits, American cheese, and other foods with SNAP benefits.

By Jake Johnson  Published 1-20-2023 by Common Dreams

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, right, speaks during a committee hearing on January 18, 2023. (Photo: Pat Grassley/Facebook)

Republicans in the Iowa House introduced legislation this month that would impose a slew of fresh restrictions on the kinds of food people can purchase using SNAP benefits, sparking outrage among local groups who say the measure would exacerbate hunger in the GOP-dominated state.

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC), an interfaith group that operates the largest food pantry network in Iowa, noted in a statement earlier this week that if the bill passes, “Iowans could no longer use their SNAP benefits to purchase meat, nuts, and seeds; flour, butter, cooking oil, soup, canned fruits, and vegetables; frozen prepared foods, snack foods, herbs, spices—not even salt or pepper.” Continue reading

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Congress Just Passed $858 Billion Military Budget, But GOP Is Blocking $12 Billion to Fight Child Poverty

“This isn’t using our taxpayer dollars wisely,” said one analyst. “It’s robbing programs that we need.”

By Jake Johnson  Published 12-17-2022 by Common Dreams

Sen. Mike Crapo, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee. Photo: USDA/flickr/CC

Congressional Republicans happily teamed up with Democrats this month to authorize $858 billion in military spending for the next fiscal year, but the GOP is refusing to even consider proposals to revive the Child Tax Credit expansion that lifted millions of kids out of poverty last year—even though bringing the program back would cost a fraction of the Pentagon outlay.

A spokesperson for Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told HuffPost earlier this week that Republicans have thus far been unwilling to negotiate over the Child Tax Credit (CTC) boost, which they unanimously opposed when it was enacted as part of the American Rescue Plan last year. Continue reading

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UN Human Rights Expert Urges US to Lift Sanctions That ‘May Exacerbate the Already Dire Humanitarian Situation in Syria’

After nearly a decade of war, the special rapporteur noted, Syrians are living with “extensively damaged houses, medical units, schools, and other facilities.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-29-2020

A study published last year by Amnesty International found that the U.S.-led bombing campaign on Raqqa, Syria in 2017 killed an estimated 1,600 innocent civilians while leveling the city. (Photo: Amnesty International)

A United Nations human rights expert on Tuesday called for the removal of unilateral U.S. sanctions targeting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, warning that despite claims by the Trump administration and congressional leaders that the measures aren’t intended to harm the people of war-torn Syria, they may do just that.

“The sanctions violate the human rights of the Syrian people, whose country has been destroyed by almost 10 years of ongoing conflict,” said Alena Douhan, U.N. special rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights. “The conflict and violence have already had a dire impact on the ability of the Syrian people to realize their fundamental rights, having extensively damaged houses, medical units, schools, and other facilities.” Continue reading

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