Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Peace. I got this from my hommie Dan Tres Omi (selfra.blogspot.com-now you know and you're better for it). We live in a REAL world with REAL problems. How DARE 'leaders of countries' speak with any type of moralistic authority when THIS is happening.
http://www. cnn. com/2008/WORLD/americas/04/14/world. food. crisis/index. html
(CNN) -- Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over the soaring costs of basic foods have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world's attention, the head of an agency focused on global development said Monday.
"This is the world's big story," said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute.
"The finance ministers were in shock, almost in panic this weekend," he said on CNN's "American Morning," in a reference to top economic officials who gathered in Washington. "There are riots all over the world in the poor countries ... and, of course, our own poor are feeling it in the United States.
World Bank President Robert Zoellick has said the surging costs could mean "seven lost years" in the fight against worldwide poverty.
"While many are worrying about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs, and it is getting more and more difficult every day," Zoellick said late last week in a speech opening meetings with finance ministers.
"The international community must fill the at least $500 million food gap identified by the U.N.'s World Food Programme to meet emergency needs," he said. "Governments should be able to come up with this assistance and come up with it now.
The White House announced Monday evening that an estimated $200 million in emergency food aid would be made available through the U.S. Agency for International Development.
"This additional food aid will address the impact of rising commodity prices on U.S. emergency food aid programs, and be used to meet unanticipated food aid needs in Africa and elsewhere," the White House said in a news release.
Former President Clinton, at a campaign stop for his wife in Pennsylvania over the weekend, said, "Corn is the single most inefficient way to produce ethanol because it uses a lot of energy and because it drives up the price of food.
Some environmental groups reject the focus on ethanol in examining food prices.
"The contrived food vs. fuel debate has reared its ugly head once again," the Renewable Fuels Association says on its Web site, adding that "numerous statistical analyses have demonstrated that the price of oil -- not corn prices or ethanol production -- has the greatest impact on consumer food prices because it is integral to virtually every phase of food production, from processing to packaging to transportation.
Analysts agree the cost of fuel is among the reasons for the skyrocketing prices.
Another major reason is rising demand, particularly in places in the midst of a population boom, such as China and India.
Also, said Sachs, "climate shocks" are damaging food supply in parts of the world. "You add it all together: Demand is soaring, supply has been cut back, food has been diverted into the gas tank. It's added up to a price explosion.