Sunday, April 01, 2007

Famine and Hunger

A while back i came across a BBC inteview that was particularly insightful about the causes of famine so i think i'll post it main points on here .

Scottish Oxfam worker David Crawford :-

" As a member of Oxfam's humanitarian support team, I can be deployed globally at short notice. My job is to provide short-term leadership or support in emergencies or humanitarian situations. From last October, I have been based in West Africa as the senior humanitarian adviser for the Sahel region - Mauritania, Mali and Niger...

...The food crisis was widely perceived in the media to relate to food shortages which then caused widespread hunger and malnutrition...

...Although this played an important role at a local level, it wasn't the main cause as the following example illustrates. During the crisis, Niger was still exporting food and staple cereals were available in the markets. The problem, however, was the poorest and most vulnerable people hadn't produced enough grain to survive and couldn't afford to buy it in the markets.
Once people run out of money they turn to "coping strategies", for instance getting into debt or selling off their assets including their valuable animals...

....For the poorest people who are vulnerable to food crisis, the main problem is access to food, not availability of food - food is usually available but they can't get it..."

The truth is out there about the effects of Capitalism , but it is a pity those involved in combatting food shortages don't recognise Socialism as a viable solution and continue with their palliatives , over and over and over again , without ever learning the lessons of their own experences .

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