Thursday, May 8, 2008

World food crisis, how did this happen?



My head is still spinning over the current World food crisis. How did this happen and how come no one saw this coming? There are many factors that have caused the crisis, from low havests to the diversion of corn to the production of ethanol. Somehow all these factors got in sync and voila, many governments across the world are now threatend because of food shortages.

President Bush has asked congress for 700 million USD for food aid to Africa. This time his administration is asking that the money be given to the World Food Program which in turn will purchase from food producing African Countries for redistribution to those in need. Guess what, many oppose the idea because, tradionally US food AID has been in the form of food purchased from US farmers and then shipped over by specific US ships.

But given the current food crisis these opposers have no choice really since there is a global shortage.
But this makes one wonder what the purpose of US food Aid to Africa was meant to be. Wouldn't it make more sense to buy the food from Africans thus stimulating their economies and help them become self sufficient and in the process save on transportation and other costs ?

At the moment it looks like the people most likely to gain from the current global crisis are those African peasants that have long been shut out of the global economy.
East Africa has not been spared, prices have shot up and Boarding schools have now increased their fees to cover the cost of food. So far there seems to be no end in sight.