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Street Protests Loom as Shortages, Inflation and Oil Slump Hit Venezuela

       

Students block a street as they clash with national guards during a protest against the government in San Cristóbal on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

As President Nicolás Maduro tours the world in search of financing, the most conciliatory opposition leader says the time has come to mobilise on the streets

theguardian.com - by Sibylla Brodzinski - January 16, 2015

Even Venezuela’s most conciliatory opposition leader has had enough.

Amid sky-high inflation, an absent president, snaking queues outside supermarkets, and plummeting oil prices, Henrique Capriles said this week that the time was ripe to try to force a change.

“We are in a state of emergency,” he said on Monday. “This is the time to mobilise in the streets.”

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Ebola Cases Drop as Food Crisis is Sparked

         

Many agricultural fields have been abandoned as people retreat from Ebola. Image via World Bank.

zmescience.com - by Livia Rusu - January 15, 2015

The World Health Organization reports a drop in the Ebola cases in the three Western African countries hit most by the disease. However, as farmers abandon their fields in the infected areas, a new problem seems to emerge: a food crisis. . .

. . . The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), a UN body that finances agriculture in poor countries has warned that if quick action isn’t taken soon, a food crisis is set to take place in the area.

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Food Security

submitted by Gary Vroegindewey - September 24, 2014
Mike,
WFP has increased food availability
http://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/international-financial-institutions-provide-us217-million-help-meet-food-needs-eb
http://www.wfp.org/countries/sierra-leone/stories/wfp-steps-up-assistance-to-meet-urgent-food-needs-of-families-and-communities-affected-by-ebola
Global Food Security Index will provide baseline Sierra Leone as an example.
http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Country/Details#Sierra%20Leone
Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS)
tracks marketing prices and other indicators of food insecurity Sierra Leone as an example
http://www.fews.net/west-africa/sierra-leone/remote-monitoring-report/september-2014

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Ebola Spurs A Full Public Lockdown In Sierra Leone

Hoping to stop a virus that has killed hundreds of its citizens, Sierra Leone will institute a temporary lockdown this month. This photo from August shows people walking in Kenema, in a part of Sierra Leone that's been hit hard by the outbreak. Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Imagesby Bill Chappell - Sep 06, 2014 8:57 AM ET - NPR

Sierra Leone will impose a three-day lockdown on all its citizens, as part of a plan to "deal with Ebola once and for all," the government says. The move is an effort to stop the disease that has killed over 2,000 people in five West African countries, according to World Health Organization data.

But the lockdown's effectiveness will depend on citizens buying in to the government's plan. From Nairobi, NPR's Gregory Warner reports:

"From Sept. 19 to 21, the people of Sierra Leone will have to remain in their homes so health workers can isolate new Ebola cases and prevent the disease from spreading. But the lockdown will have to be mostly voluntary. Sierra Leone does not have the police or military capacity to enforce it on 6 million citizens.

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WEST AFRICA: EBOLA OUTBREAK PUTS HARVESTS AT RISK, SENDS FOOD PRICES SHOOTING UP

Source: http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/221531226/west-africa-ebola-outbreak-puts-harvests-at-risk-sends-food-prices-shooting-up

2 September 2014, Rome - Disruptions in food trade and marketing in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola have made food increasingly expensive and hard to come by, while labor shortages are putting the upcoming harvest season at serious risk, FAO warned today.

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Ebola Threatens Food Security in West Africa - FAO

      

An empty street market in Monrovia's West Point district, 20 August 2014.

* Labour shortages expected to hit main harvest season

* Cassava prices in Monrovia rose by 150 pct in August

* FAO needs $20 million for response plan

fao.org - af.reuters.com -

ROME/DAKAR, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The world's worst Ebola epidemic has endangered harvests and sent food prices soaring in West Africa, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Tuesday, warning the problem would intensify in coming months.

by Isla Binnie and Emma Farge - September 2, 2014

The FAO issued a special alert for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries most affected by the outbreak, which has killed at least 1,550 people since the virus was detected in the remote jungles of southeastern Guinea in March.

Restrictions on people's movements and the establishment of quarantine zones to contain the spread of the hemorrhagic fever have led to panic buying, food shortages and price hikes in countries ill-prepared to absorb the shock.

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Grain Harvest Fact Sheet

Rice grains.

Image: Rice grains.

earth-policy.org - August 19th, 2014

With grain providing much of the calories that sustain humanity, the status of the world grain harvest is a good indicator of the adequacy of the food supply.

More than 2 billion tons of grain are produced each year worldwide, nearly half of it in just three countries: China, the United States, and India.

Corn, wheat, and rice account for most of the world’s grain harvest.

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Nigeria Food Security Alert August 8, 2014

fews.net - August 8, 2014

Summary

A food security crisis persists in northeast Nigeria as the ongoing Boko Haram conflict continues to displace populations and disrupt markets, livelihoods and nutrition services. An estimated three quarters of people living in areas worst affected by conflict have fled their homes due to violence since 2013. In Borno, Yobe and northern Adamawa States, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity will persist through December, despite the main harvest beginning in October. Approximately one million people in areas worst affected by conflict will continue to face food consumption gaps. Access to households affected and/or displaced by conflict needs to improve in order to ensure that food and nonfood assistance reaches food insecure households.

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Next-Gen Urban Farms: 10 Innovative Projects from Around the World

submitted by Marielle Dubbeling  

      

The Farmery, slated to open this fall in an as-yet-undisclosed location, will be an 8,000-square-foot market that will grow its own mushrooms, greens and fruits. Photograph: Amy Edwards/Farmery

As the 'buy local' movement grows, social entrepreneurs find novel ways to make agriculture an integral part of urban life

theguardian.com - by Sarah Shemkus - July 2, 2014

Many shoppers like the idea of buying local. After all, it can mean fresher and healthier foods, stronger local economies, direct contact with food producers and in some cases — but not always — lower carbon emissions.

But most of us have only a few options for participating in the local food movement: visiting the farmers market or signing up for a community supported agriculture (CSA) subscription. As the movement continues to grow and evolve, however, social entrepreneurs are experimenting with novel ways to make local agriculture an integral part of urban life.

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Oldest Baby Boom in North America Sheds Light on Native American Population Crash

Sites like Pueblo Bonito in northern New Mexico reached their maximum size in the early A.D. 1100s, just before a major drought began to decrease birth rates throughout the Southwest. Credit: Nate Crabtree

Scientists chart an ancient baby boom—in southwestern Native Americans from 500 to 1300 AD

phys.org - June 30, 2014

Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long "growth blip" among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

It was a time when the early features of civilization—including farming and food storage—had matured to where birth rates likely "exceeded the highest in the world today," the researchers write in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A crash followed . . .

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CLICK HERE - PNAS - RESEARCH - Long and spatially variable Neolithic Demographic Transition in the North American Southwest

 

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