The World Food Climate: Rising Demand, Quitting Aid

To put it simply, something big is going on in the world of food. There are a number of key factors playing a role in the food system:

Food prices rose at the beginning of the year sparking riots in Haiti, the Philippines, Egypt and other countries. Although prices have declined, there are still countries where prices remain high and are getting higher. Last month the UN said that the number of hungry people in the world had increased by more than 150 million in a single year to more than one billion.

Total_Hungry_People_2001-2009

Why did it happen?

There are a few reasons behind it: there are more people to feed, the rising middle class in China and India is eating more meat and dairy, global warming is causing desertification is many agricultural settings, and oil prices where higher at the beginning of the year making transportation more expensive.

Right now prices have become more affordable (but nor entirely and not everywhere by any means) because oil prices have fallen and harvests are expected to have better yields this year.

Now, to add on to the list, tens of millions of the world’s poor will have their food rations cut or cancelled in the next few weeks because wealthy nations have cut aid funding. After giving a record of 5 billion dollars las year to avert the food crisis, this year countries are offering 2.7 billion in the first 10 months of this year, making it the lowest food aid offered in 20 years.

“There is a silent tsunami [of hunger] gathering. You cannot see or hear it, but it’s in all these villages, killing people just as hard. This is the worst food crisis since the 1970s. We will lose a generation. Children will never recover,” said Sheeran, head of the United Nations’ World Food Program.

I will venture to say  food aid given to underdeveloped nationsby wealthy nations is a metaphor for drug gifting. If nations have become dependent on aid and have lost their capacity to be producers, it is only because of forced underdevelopment. When you remove the aid, a tremendous withdrawal follows as it is happening today, and avoiding the responsibility from this dynamic is blatant injustice.

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