Buscador avanzado

We are now several months into the global food crisis, which is a much bigger deal than the subprime meltdown for most people in the world. Food prices have almost doubled in three years, threatening to push 100 million people into absolute poverty, undoing much of the development progress of the past few years. The new hunger has triggered riots from Haiti to Egypt to Ethiopia, threatening political stability; it has conjured up a raft of protectionist policies, threatening globalization. And yet the response to this crisis from governments the world over has been lackadaisical or worse.

Start with the lunatic story of rice stockpiles in Japan.…  Seguir leyendo »

When was the last time you were hungry? Not the pang of a missed breakfast or delayed lunch, but the gnawing obsession of a hunger that has lasted 24 hours? For me, it was 25 years ago - when, for 10 days I lived off one bowl of gruel a day for breakfast. The memory of the desperate desire for food followed by a debilitating weakness has lasted a quarter of a century. But while my experience was a lifestyle choice, for the villagers of the rural district of Katine, in Uganda, it is their everyday life.

Uganda, with the help of debt relief and increased aid, may have got 5 million extra children into school, but a significant number of them turn up with empty stomachs and struggle to concentrate before they return home for their one meal a day.…  Seguir leyendo »

Recientemente, los precios de los alimentos han experimentado en todo el mundo unas subidas extraordinarias. Tanto es así, que Naciones Unidas ha anunciado que necesitan 500 millones de dólares antes de que transcurra un mes a fin de evitar que se produzca una hambruna generalizada. El pasado marzo, el precio del arroz subió en los mercados asiáticos un 30% en un solo día. Ésta y otras subidas de precios son el resultado de una tormenta perfecta en la que se han combinado los efectos de las malas cosechas, la escasez de alimentos almacenados, la sustitución de cultivos de alimentos por otros que producen biocombustibles, el aumento de la demanda de carne, el precio récord del petróleo, y la especulación financiera.…  Seguir leyendo »

We have all seen the pictures on television and in magazines of emaciated children looking at us with gaunt faces and empty eyes. The images are moving and disturbing, but if they do not lead to an effective response, they are used in vain.

Malnutrition can be fatal. Every year, it contributes to the death of five million children under the age of 5. But more of the same kind of food aid impoverished countries now receive will do nothing to reduce these deaths. We need to focus on the food quality, not just the quantity.

I recently spent a year running a nutritional program in Niger, where, along with other parts of Africa and South Asia, the most cases of childhood malnutrition are found.…  Seguir leyendo »