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Coming soon: The Hunger Tsunami

The price rise of food commodities is not a short-term crisis; it is here to stay. “The world has just about enough cereal stocks to feed the global population for two to three months.” “The world food situation is very serious today with food riots reported from many countries like Egypt, Cameroon, Haiti, Burkina Faso and Senegal. We fear that this may spread to other countries. World food prices have risen 45% in the last nine months." The world has only 4-5 million tons of cereal stocks, and that can feed the planet’s population for only 8-12 weeks. Coming soon: The Hunger Tsunami - ‘hunger riots’ were prophesied in October 2007, after the cost of a meal in Africa had increased an average 40% in a year. The rise of the food prices is just the tip of the iceberg, other basic products such as milk, meat, or soap are soaring, creating an uncontrollable inflation spiral. The problem of the escalating prices across the planet comes “from the increasing demand from developing countries, particularly China and India” and the diversion of food grains towards production of bio-fuels. “As incomes rise, the Chinese people are quickly diversifying their diet, shifting from heavy dependence on a starchy staple, such as rice, to one that contains more livestock products.” “China’s total coverage of cultivated land dropped by an astounding 21 million hectares between 1958 and 1995, while the nation’s population grew significantly from 660 million to 1.2 billion during the same period.” For years China pretended that it had no problem to feed its people. But it is now accepted that the nation will face a 4.8 million tons grain shortage in 2010, almost 9% of the nation’s consumption.

High Food Prices Spur Violence, Hunger Fears

The president of the World Bank urged immediate action to deal with mounting food prices that have caused hunger and deadly violence in several countries.

Image: A man reacts among the remains of a destroyed clothing market in Port-au-Prince, Saturday, April 12,... Expand (Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo)
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