Tuesday, 4th September 2012
Food crises doomed to repeat until leaders find courage to fix problems
From Headline Analysis:
Oxfam teams around the world say that developing countries are bracing themselves for the worst effects of rising corn, soy and wheat prices on their poorest people. One of the worst hot-spots is Yemen which is heavily dependent on food imports, including for 90% of its wheat, and where 10m people are hungry today and some 267,000 children at risk of death from malnourishment because people can’t afford what food there is. Families are exhausting their options to cope, including instances of marrying off young daughters in order to have one less mouth to feed.
The world’s is already witnessing a record number of food-related emergencies. The UN estimates that some $7.83bn is needed to respond to food-related crises in the Sahel region of West Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Yemen, but to date only $3.73 billion has been pledged by donors, representing a shortfall of $4.1bn. With the international response slowed by the global economic crisis, rising global food prices could pile more pressure on an overstretched humanitarian system.
Other fragile populations around the world, living on or near the poverty line, will be dragged under by price spikes and volatility. Nearly a billion people are already too poor to feed themselves, so any long- term food spike is guaranteed to trap millions more who are now just “getting by”. Worrying too is the continuing drop in global corn stocks that are now at their lowest levels for six years.
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By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes is currently an Information Services Librarian with the London Borough of Havering.
In this role, he has particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by Free Pint Ltd. in 2007. He is also involved in training and publicising online reference resources and is a regular contributor to DocuTicker.
Adrian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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