The Hungry Know No Peace
an article by Rose Lord
The World Trade Organization (WTO) lists as the first of its ten benefits that it "helps to keep the peace." Yet present trade imbalances are propagating the violence of hunger throughout the world. A critical issue is farm subsidies, most of which go to rich corporate farms. The United States, Europe and Japan reportedly spend $350 billion each year on agricultural subsidies, allowing these countries to export products at prices far below the cost of production. Global aid by all developed countries does not make up for the devastation this practice of "dumping" has on the economies of poor countries.
For example. the highly-subsidized American cotton and rice industries have cost billions of dollars in lost revenues in Africa, Brazil, Haiti, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India.
There have been countless programs to feed the hungry but still over 800 million people worldwide are severely malnourished. Ten million die of hunger each year and half of those are children. One quarter of the world's children suffer from PEM (Protein Energy Malnutrition) which means that they simply don't have enough to eat. And when PEM doesn't kill them it causes physical and mental impairment and frequent and severe illness.
We can help the hungry people of the world, not through random acts of charity and occasional handouts or rushing in with aid when they are dropping like flies, but by curtailing the subsidies and helping the poor to become self-reliant, by bringing them the tools that will enable them to take a share in the abundance that this earth offers. That's what Global Coalition for Peace's Women's Self Reliance Program is all about. Please go to the WSRP page.
For more information on subsidies please go to www.globalcoalitionforpeace.net and click onto "New on the Site."
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Can UN agencies help eradicate poverty in the world?,
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