From Hunger to Violence
Following on the reports last week about Australia's water crisis and its effect on food, I read this story on the deepening food crisis with alarm. A perfect storm of factors -- including skyrocketing fuel prices, severe droughts, conflicts and trade imbalances -- have driven up prices for basic foodstuffs (rice, wheat, corn, etc.) to a level beyond what many can pay. In response, violence has broken out in Haiti, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Egypt, Indonesia and Senegal -- and UN officials predict more violence as the crisis spreads.
To its credit, the United States has pledged $200 million in emergency aid, and Congress is considering more. But the World Food Program is still worried about meeting the need.
From a security standpoint, this looks like a good investment; it's probably cheap at twice the price. Tamping down violence in these countries -- or worse, dealing with wars over scarce food and water -- will cost a lot more than short-term aid.
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Posted by: Geoff Dabelko | April 30, 2008 5:58 PM
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