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Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Friday, February 6, 2009

World Food Crisis, a Nightmare for Millions



By Barbara Suarez Avalos.

World Food Crisis, a Nightmare for MillionsNowadays many people are worried because of the world food crisis. In the list of those who haven’t gotten a wink of sleep, there are Heads of States, Nobel Prize Laureates, scientists, economists and even those, who partially informed, do not wash their hands of the urgent situation our planet is facing.

Analysts spell out several factors which have caused this situation: the climate change; the rise in crude oil prices; the strike launched by farmers in Argentina, which is the world’s third producer of soybean and first exporter of its oil; the growing demand of rice in Asia; the production of biofuel and others.

The point is that the prices are rocketing in the world market and the prognosis for the poorest countries are becoming more and more gloomy, since experts assure that the invoice for the import of cereals in those nations will grow by 56 percent in the current year, even when the world production will also grow by 2.6 percent.

See some examples: in the year 2007 the prices of the cereals increased by 41 percent, the vegetable oils increased by 60 percent and the dairy products rose by 83 percent. The trend remains and even seems to speed up.

Between March 2007 and March 2008, the sale price of wheat rocketed by 130 percent.

If one takes a look at what is happening in the planet, one can see that the matter is really serious. By mid-April, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Jacques Diouf, warned that the conflicts linked that the food crisis not only affect the territories that are directly involved, but also threaten the world stability.

Said differently, it is not necessary to be a ‘guru' to see social outbursts, unless urgent worldwide measures are taken. First of all they must be a solution for 37 nations which population is at risk of starvation because of food shortages.

In this regard, Diouf also added that this is not a contextual situation but a structural one.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn has also gone on about the topic stating that the social crisis caused by the inflation of the food prices could unleash a conflict and warned that hundreds of thousands of people will die of hunger, if the prices of the foodstuff will keep on the rise.

The World Bank already approved 1, 2 billion US dollars to tackle the food crisis. So, 200 millions US dollars will be devoted as emergency packages for the poorest countries like Haiti, Djibouti and Liberia.

The World Bank head Robert Zoellick stated that the rise of the prices could push other 100 million people into poverty.

These are hair-raising figures. Something like “a chronicle of an announced death”, though today’s panorama has nothing to do with fiction. The have-nots are the victims of the current world order, responsible of the figures above cited and which doesn’t seem to concern the powerful and the rich.

In the end, their cabinets and fridges are full and the wallets can tackle the astronomical prices of the food. However, they should think if they could enjoy the dessert and have a good digestion knowing that there are so many starved people in desperation.

The solution is not a loan or implementing emergency measures, but changing the unjust world order, the one due to which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. (Translation: Gualveris Rosales Sánchez).