17 April 2009


Since world food prices began to soar in 2007, an additional 100 million people have been dragged into extreme poverty. The situation has been exacerbated by the global financial crisis, to the point where the United Nations now warns that for the first time ever, up to 1 billion people are at risk of starvation.

Caritas Australia has recently released a report examining food shortages around the world. The report advocates a clear focus on the right to food and looks at the complex and interrelated environmental, social and economic factors of the food crisis and what can be done. Copies of the report can be downloaded at the above website.

In a related statement Caritas CEO Jack de Groot pointed out that "International bailouts from the financial crisis have exceed $4 trillion USD, yet an increase of about $50 billion per year would ensure we meet the Millennium Development Goals

Nevertheless despite the global economic crisis, soaring food prices and reports that millions more people joined the ranks of the undernourished in 2008, key experts at a major food aid conference earlier this month shared a tangible optimism that both the will and means are now at hand to attack and even possibly conquer world hunger.

According to an article in the National Catholic Reporter grounds for this cautious optimism can be found in an improved efficiency in collaboration and communication, advances in technology, greater expertise in understanding the roots of hunger within funding agencies and the emerging will to combat global hunger as exhibited by leading nations, including those who gathered early this month in London for the G-20 summit.

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