By Stephen Leahy
BROOKLIN, Canada, Oct 20, 2006 (IPS)
[World Bank and International Monetary Fund free-market doctrines responsible for much of Africa’s hunger experts say]
It is a world of paradox and plenty:
852 million people are starving while one billion people are overweight, with 300 million of them considered medically obese.
And the numbers of people whose health are at serious risk due to starvation or from obesity is rising rapidly.
While what the World Health Organisation calls a global epidemic of obesity is a health issue of the modern world, hunger and malnutrition are old and bitterly intractable problems.
More than 50 million Africans currently need food assistance, according to the U.N. World Food Programme. More than 120 million Africans are living permanently on the edge of emergency food aid, says the British charity CARE International.
Why is hunger chronic in Africa?
“There is enough food, but people don’t have enough money to buy it,” says Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute, a U.S.-based policy think tank on social, economic and environmental issues.
“Sixty-three percent of people in Niger live on less than a dollar a day,” Mittal told IPS.
Hunger is mainly the result of poverty.
Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) reports that th
ere is enough food to give everyone in the world more than 2,700 calories a day, she says. Continue reading