Saturday, April 12, 2008

World Rioting Over Food Prices

The UN World Food Program counts 37 countries in dire straits over the unrestrained wildly rising cost of food staples. Part of the global issue is escalating fuel costs, a volatile oil and energy market that continues climbing plus the immense amount of grains being sold to the highest bidders who are biofuel manufactures causing scarcity, which is then reflected in the market as local farmers shop their sought after crops to the highest bidders, not the neediest people. People are taking to the streets venting anger and frustration across the globe stretching the UN's blue helmeted troops to the max.

"I'm surprised I have not been summoned to the UN Security Council, since many problems discussed there do not have the same consequences for peace and security in the world and the human rights of people who need to be fed," Jacques Diouf told a news conference in Rome.

At least five people have died in violent protests against high food and fuel prices in Haiti's capital, while similar disturbances have rocked Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries in the past month.

In Pakistan and Thailand, army troops have been deployed to avoid the seizure of food from fields and warehouses.

Politicians kicked to the curb, may be the start of something worldwide as the runaway price of food keeps sneering at stagnant wages. In the wake of violent food riots in Haïti, a frightened sixteen out of seventeen of parliament's senators sent Prime Minister Jacques Édouard Alexis, president René Preval's BFF, packing immediately after a vote of no confidence. Net result, the Hatian government needs to re-form under new management still without an ability to fix the food resource issue when the last person to hold the job was an agronomist. PM is not exactly a job with career longevity.
The clash with senators came just two days after the president of the country of 9 million people -- most of whom earn less than $2 a day -- managed to persuade rioters to end a week of violence in which at least five people were killed.

Stone-throwing crowds began battling U.N. peacekeepers and Haitian police in the south of the country on April 2, enraged at the soaring cost of rice, beans, cooking oil and other staples.
It took just seven mere days in a free market, for a Haitian sack of rice to double in price to an astronomical $70. Now Haiti looks to take $8 off the top price as a sop to an angry populace representing the rickety bottom rung of the economic means ladder in the entire Western Hemisphere. People with nothing left to lose, are becoming more prevalent in the world economy. Many of the riots are occurring in urban setting like Port-au-Prince & Manila leaving conditions in rural locales to the imagination of despair.

In Bangladesh, a mob ten thousand strong, confronted police authorities as they protested rampant food increases. On April 6th, Egyptians made their displeasure heard and felt over the cost of food staples doubling in less than a year. In Sudan, two UN workers delivering food were killed, upping the number to 5 truckers dying to feed the dispossessed.

North Korea is a nuclear beggar nation as they plead for food as their people starve. UN North Korean food experts state they have a shortfall of over 1.5 million tonnes of cereal grains. China, South Korea and the UN try to pick up the slack, but the gap is so large they need additional food suppliers to come to their aid. One million died in the famine of the 1990's and conditions are now beginning to resemble that horror. persistent malnutrition and chronic anemia for nursing moms is prevalent throughout the nation.

Bad weather and its crop destruction, made the UN Food Program issue a warning about Zimbabwe's food crisis as well. Somalia is in full arrest on the humanitarian front, needing aid in numbers not known to much of the western world as the US media especially, focuses on their neverending pursuit of the trivial.

Part of Haiti's continued unrest is outlined in the Pulitzer nominated work from Randall Robinson on Haiti and the Bush administration's 2004 Special Forces coup with now exiled two-time president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. An author presentation of An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, From Revolution to the Kidnapping of A President on C-SPAN was quite compelling as he was on the line to Haiti when Aristede was removed involuntarily from the country under false pretenses by the US & with French approval.

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