Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Shortages and Hunger on the rise


In the U.S. and in Europe, pastries and pasta may cost a bit more, an increase that is, so far, mostly absorbed by the consumers in these and similarly wealthy nations. But in Pakistan, Egypt and other countries with large segments of the population living near or below the poverty line, soaring wheat prices have caused shortages, resulting in food riots that may spark political unrest.

With black-marketing and illegal hoarding on the rise in the global wheat trade, the world's poorest people go even hungrier, and fall victim to malnutrition and starvation at an ever increasing rate.

The worldwide wheat crisis is caused by many factors, such as drought in Australia, failed harvests elsewhere due to global warming, steadily rising demand in Asia, unscrupulous market speculation, use of grain to feed cattle, and, most recently, the use of food crops to make biofuels.

Will this lead to what some world leaders call
"a silent tsunami of hunger"?

(Video via Link TV - Sources: ABC News, U.S.; Deutche Welle, Germany; Hechos, El Salvador; Teletrece, Chile; BBC, U.K.; Al Jazeera English, Qatar; South Asia Newsline, India; KBS, Korea.)

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