Tuesday, April 1, 2008


LA TIMES For 15 years, he's been a "grocer" for Africa's destitute. But he's never seen anything like this. Pascal Joannes' job is to find grains, beans and oils to fill a food basket for Sudan's neediest people, from Darfur refugees to schoolchildren in the barren south.. . . Joannes is head of procurement in Sudan for the World Food Program, the United Nations agency in charge of alleviating world hunger.

Meteoric food and fuel prices, a slumping dollar, the demand for biofuels and a string of poor harvests have combined to abruptly multiply WFP's operating costs, even as needs increase. In other words, if the number of needy people stayed constant, it would take much more money to feed them. But the number of people needing help is surging dramatically. It is what WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran calls "a perfect storm" hitting the world's hungry.

The agency last month issued an emergency appeal for money to cover a shortfall tallied at more than half a billion dollars and growing. It said it might have to reduce food rations or cut people off altogether. . .

In the short term, officials predict food riots and political unrest, as has occurred in recent weeks in Pakistan, Indonesia and Egypt. In Egypt, shortages of government- subsidized bread recently triggered strikes, demonstrations and violence in which seven people died. In the longer term, overall health worsens and education levels decline.

Countries are taking steps to avert widespread hunger. Some, like Egypt and Indonesia, have quickly expanded subsidies; others, like China, have banned exports of precious commodities.


At April 3, 2008 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to the opening act of a post peak petroleum world...

At April 3, 2008 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Global population control was, is, and will forever remain the only solution.


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