Thursday, April 24, 2008

Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams…

WFP cuts school meals as food crisis grows. “The World Food Programme said yesterday that it has begun to cut the provision of school meals to some of the world’s poorest children as the global crisis over food prices worsens.”

Roots of Asia’s rice crisis. “For decades, governments have been encouraging a boom in services and skyscrapers, but not the capacity to grow more rice. Financing in agriculture has stagnated, and fewer farmers are expected to produce more rice for exploding populations.”

World Bank says Thai curb on rice exports would deepen crisis. “World Bank officials are concerned that pressure is growing in Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, to restrict the nation’s exports of the staple and worsen a global food crisis.”

Japan’s hunger becomes a dire warning for other nations. “Japan’s acute butter shortage, which has confounded bakeries, restaurants and now families across the country, is the latest unforeseen result of the global agricultural commodities crisis... Last week, as the prices of wheat and barley continued their relentless climb, the Japanese Government discovered it had exhausted its ¥230 billion budget for the grains with two months remaining. It was forced to call on an emergency ¥55 billion reserve to ensure it could continue feeding the nation.“

Afghans protest skyrocketing food prices. “Hundreds of people angry over the rising cost of food demonstrated in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday... Many demonstrators expressed anger with Pakistan - upon which Afghans are heavily reliant for food imports. Pakistan has recently slowed its exports due to its own concerns about rising food prices.”

Food prices drag down Garcia’s popularity in Peru. “President Alan Garcia’s approval rating sank to the lowest level of his second term, hammered by rising food prices that have stoked public discontent, according to an opinion poll published on Sunday.”

Rice shortage in Philippines may mean more trouble for Arroyo. “Rice futures had their biggest weekly gain in at least seven years last week on concerns export curbs by China and Vietnam will spread as importing nations struggle to feed their people. The Philippines, the biggest rice importer, received offers for only two-thirds of the grain it sought to buy on April 17.”

Food for America’s famished. “Americans are a generous sort but not as much in a weak economy with food prices climbing more than 5 percent a year. Donations to private food banks are off 9 by percent. A CNN poll finds nearly 1 in 3 people already cutting back on food. Hunger, once again, is rising in America.”

Oh well, there’ll be another world soon enough... Screw those poor people.