An editorial in today’s Houston Chronicle argues that for their own security, wealthy nations must act swiftly to confront the global food crisis.
Sparked by the high price and low availability of food, rioting on several continents has provided a sour taste of the unrest that could result from what experts report is a growing food crisis. It will take a coordinated, multinational effort to avert an international disaster of widespread starvation and violence.
According to the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Jacques Diouf, the world’s poorest countries can expect the cost of imported food to rise 56 percent, even though the world’s cereal production is forecast to increase slightly. That will spell extreme hardship for developing countries that already spend a large portion of their gross domestic product to buy food from abroad.
When people are starving, governments destabilize, people fight for dwindling resources and refugee populations explode. So, providing aid that puts food on poor people’s plates is more than a mere humanitarian gesture. Food aid can be the salve that defuses the threat widespread starvation poses to world peace and security.