Saturday, April 19, 2008

The World Food Crisis

Quotes from a NY Times editorial from April 10:
Most Americans take food for granted. Even the poorest fifth of households in the United States spend only 16 percent of their budget on food. In many other countries, it is less of a given. Nigerian families spend 73 percent of their budgets to eat, Vietnamese 65 percent, Indonesians half. They are in trouble.

33 nations are at risk of social unrest because of the rising prices of food. “For countries where food comprises from half to three-quarters of consumption, there is no margin for survival.

The rise in food prices is partly because of uncontrollable forces — including rising energy costs and the growth of the middle class in China and India. This has increased demand for animal protein, which requires large amounts of grain.

But the rich world is exacerbating these effects by supporting the production of biofuels.

Overseas aid by rich countries fell 8.4 percent last year from 2006. Developed nations would have to increase their aid budgets by 35 percent over the next three years just to meet the commitments they made in 2005.

Arise, cry out in the night,
as the watches of the night begin;
pour out your heart like water
in the presence of the Lord.
Lift up your hands to him
for the lives of your children,
who faint from hunger
at the head of every street.
Lamentations 2:19

And in the US?

As the point person in the benevolence ministry of our church, a growing number of those I am working with are hard working people who are less and less able to meet their bills.

Today, CNN confirms that I am not alone in that observation.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I am also seeing lots of working families (most of whom work full-time) who are unable to pay for groceries, utilities, etc. It is very scary.