Friday, October 24, 2008

The Real Impact of the Economic Crisis

After my last post I figured I needed to balance out this whole economic crisis and how it's really affecting our planet. The rise of fuel and food prices has definitely added some discomfort to our lives here in the West. In the United States, the price of eggs jumped 29% last year. Dairy products are up more than 7%. And the price of corn has tripled in the last four years but these changes which are manageable for us are having devastating effects elsewhere.

First of all understand that from March 2007 to March 2008, food prices rose 57% worldwide. That is on top of a 23.6% increase the year before. With the world's poor spending around 75% of their income on food this kind of increase will push them further into poverty and will definitely make more of them hungry.

From Webster:
Hunger
- a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient; an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food; a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food

While the world produces more than enough to feed its entire population of some 6.5 billion, more than 850 million people go hungry every day.

Check out this stat that I found here.
"The FAO estimates it will take $30bn a year to eliminate global hunger. For the price of the bail-out, we could make sure no one on earth goes hungry for the next 23 years."

With most of the talk radio shows I've heard in the States, this whole bail out plan was pretty ridiculous to begin with. Even unnecessary! So to know that it's somewhat unnecessary and that the money could ELIMINATE global hunger for the next 23 years is just maddening.

Half of the increase in food prices is due to the purchase of grain by the US and EU to produce biofuels, according to a World Bank study. This action alone has increased the price of grain (the kind that poor tend to purchase) by 75-80% (vs a total food price increase of 170% over the last year). In fact, corn reached $7.60 per bushel recently compared with less than $2 per bushel in 2005. "About 25% of that rise may be due to U.S. biofuels policy" Daniel Sumner, professor and director of the University of California Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis.

So needless to say the economic crisis has spilled out and is affecting the poor of the world in a much worse way. More than 30 countries have experienced rioting over food shortages, according to the World Bank. The Prime Minister in Haiti was even forced out due to food riots!

Please remember the poor. They are still with us, they will always be with us, they are hurting, they need our prayers and anything else we can offer to help out.

I've always been a fan of World Vision click here to go to their site and join them in making a difference.

Sources & related articles:
San Francisco Chronicle
Washington Post
International Herald Tribune

3 comments:

Melanie 10/25/2008 2:43 PM  

We have been able to feed the world for a long time. A lot of the problems aren't food production, they are distribution oriented, and geopolitical barriers often make getting food to people difficult.

I think it's oversimplistic to think that money alone will solve the problem. Of course, that doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we can. I'm with you on World Vision and other organizations that bring relief to all parts of the world.

kathryn 10/25/2008 6:00 PM  

the comic is so obscenely tragic and true. . wow, Glenn, i haven't seen the current global situation spelled out/quantified like this. its alarming. I've long felt strange -- living with such bountiful everything, knowing that others subsist on dug up roots and parasitic, filthy water. We drive, fly, buy, learn, work, enjoy, feast and laugh - which is all wonderful, but knowing how bleak life is for so many, what will we do with this knowledge?

Lynn,  10/25/2008 6:06 PM  

My Grandma Haskell used to say "we've been donating to Self Denial (the Salvation Army's world relief/missionary fund) since I was a little girl, and the problems still haven't been fixed.

She said this over 5 yrs ago.

With all the technology, resources, etc. of the world today, why haven't we been able to fix world hunger? Or even local.

There is a commercial on TV in Ontario right now for local hunger. Asking people to donate $2 when they buy groceries, to feed hungry kids. It's a group of kids in a class photo setting, and some have t-shirts that read "I'm Hungry", "I hope there is enough dinner tonight" makes me cry every time!

I wonder for some if the parents are wasting money on useless things instead of buying food, then I get angry.

Followers

Stat Counter

  © Blogger template The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP