Friday, December 12, 2008

Food Crisis Continues Killing Millions While Economic Crisis Takes Centre Stage

Whooee! Well friends an' foes, I ain't wrote much lately about the global food crisis that's killin' millions of human beings. Every 5 seconds, or so, some poor bastard starves to death here on good ol' Planet Earth. $700 billion would feed the hungry and put in place sustainable programs that would reduce suffering for generations to come.

When Wall Street is down on its luck and its own mismangement and greed has forced it to beg from the public purse, the powers that hold the pursestrings are ready with a bailout.

When Detroit automakers make dumbass decision after dumbass decision and drive their dumbass businesses into bankruptcy, the public purse is there to make sure they don't hafta give up their corporate jets or bigass wage and benefits packages.

But when a heartless global banking system, natural disasters exacerbated by climate change, stoopidass ethanol policy and greedy fuel and commodities brokers gang up to force nearly a billion people into malnourishment and starvartion, the cupboard's bare. Well, there ain't any $700 billion bailouts available to alleviate the massive real life'n'death suffering that goes beyond job losses and bath-taking on the stockmarket.

Here's a little bit of a good article on the food crisis:
Commentary: FedEx to the bottom billion

(UPI) -- Almost 1 billion people have been hit by this year's global food shortages, says the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The number of undernourished, the FAO said, rose by 40 million, following a 75 million jump the previous year.

Before the global food crisis there were 850 million chronically hungry people in 2003-05. A decade ago, the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals called for halving world hunger between 1995 and 2015. Soaring food prices and the global financial crisis have pushed that goal off the charts as no longer achievable. This would have required investing $30 billion a year to boost agricultural output.

But it isn't happening. In sub-Saharan Africa one in three is suffering from malnutrition.

There's some interesting stuff in there about the UN's World Food Program. I didn't know that UN operatives are dying and MIA in the struggle to feed the hungry in places like Darfur.

The woman in charge of feeding the world's hungry calls the World Food Program a "FedEx to the 'bottom billion.'" Josette Sheeran's WFP can reach any point of the globe within 24 hours with lifesaving food. Its 10,000 employees are known as "the humanitarian Green Berets." The WFP has been feeding 3 million people a day in Darfur, where 41 of its drivers are missing in action. Twelve of its "Green Berets" were killed in action so far this year. And volunteers for hazardous duty keep stepping forward from all over the world. The WFP's global network moves food by plane, helicopter, train, boat, barge, donkey, camel, mule, airdrops -- whatever it takes.

With everybody shriekin' an' moanin' over the bad economy and how much the TSE is down and how their house ain't worth what it was last year, I reckon a little perspective might help.



burpnrun said...

Let's put another slice on it. If there's no economy in North America, there certainly won't be any money to flow to needy places. So let's get Job #1 fixed first, eh?

Stephen K said...

As usual, thanks for putting things in perspective, JimBobby.

burpnrun, that the economy is crashing here is the fault of the bankers and the incompetently managed auto companies. I don't see how propping them up is going to fix it.