Thursday, 3 November 2011
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need but not every man's greed” (Ghandi)
With more than 13 million people in dire need of food in the Horn of Africa, food prices set to remain high and volatile, and almost a billion people going to bed hungry every day, it is clear that existing policies and responses are inadequate to solve the problem.
It is possible to reduce hunger dramatically – countries like Brazil and Vietnam have shown how it can be done, what is lacking is the political will by world governments to take the decision to address the causes of hunger. Such as scrapping harmful biofuels targets, subsidies and tariffs which are turning food into fuel, the regulating of commodities markets to curb excessive speculation and increasing the food reserves in poor countries so they can cope with shocks and extremes in prices. In addition the stopping of land grabs by Western and Far East countries and a commitment to increase gender equality in agriculture is needed.
The World Bank estimates that 44 million people fell below the poverty line in the second half of 2010 due to high food prices, and research for Christian Aid’s East Africa Appeal and Oxfam’s GROW campaign indicates that the price of staple foods such as maize could more than double in the next 20 years. Poor households, which spend up to three-quarters of their income on food, are worst affected by the crippling price hikes. The world does have the capacity to produce the food, the groaning supermarket shelves in the 'developed' world scream this out, what is lacking is the will for the 'developed' world to share it.
Prov. 28:27 If you give to the poor, your needs will be supplied! But a curse upon those who close their eyes to poverty.
Posted by Fr. Peter Doodes at 09:52