Tag Archives: world bank

Structural Adjustment Programs, Not Drought, Causing Famine

West Africa’s “slow-motion” famine

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World Bank Famine in Niger

In 2005 a food crisis hit Niger. Out of a population of 12 million, 3.6 million went hungry and 800,000 children faced starvation. But activists in Niger claim that the famine was not caused by drought. “This is a structural famine. A permanent famine,” says journalist Moussa Tchangari. “It was caused by 20 years of structural adjustment programs.”

According to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning System (FEWS), agricultural production was only 11% below the 5-year average and was actually higher than levels in 2001-02, when there was no food crisis. The real problem, according to FEWS, was that food prices rose between 75-80%.

Moussa Tchangari claims that, “The root of the problem is that for more than 20 years, neoliberal policies have been forced on this country. . . the international financial institutions encouraged export agriculture, so that now we do not produce enough food to feed the population.”

Like many African countries, Niger was pressured by the IMF, World Bank, and EU development agencies to dismantle government services and to move from subsistance agriculture to export agriculture – to grow cash crops instead of food.

In the middle of the famine, Niger continued to export food. Millions starved and tens of thousands of chlidren died while the markets remained full of food they could not afford to buy.

In the first months of the crisis, the government of Niger and the UNs World Food Program refused to distribute free food to the population because interfering with the free market could disrupt Niger’s development out of poverty.

Tchangari believes that Niger’s problems have been caused by this model of development and that the country needs a different aproach. “The solution is to put in place an agricultural policy that can insure food self-sufficiency. It is possible. . . It is a question of political will.”

Feeding Cars While Billions Starve

One quarter of US grain crops fed to cars – not people, new figures show

New analysis of 2009 US Department of Agriculture figures suggests biofuel revolution is impacting on world food supplies.

One-quarter of all the maize and other grain crops grown in the US now ends up as biofuel in cars rather than being used to feed people, according to new analysis which suggests that the biofuel revolution launched by former President George Bush in 2007 is impacting on world food supplies.

The 2009 figures from the US Department of Agriculture shows ethanol production rising to record levels driven by farm subsidies and laws which require vehicles to use increasing amounts of biofuels.

“The grain grown to produce fuel in the US [in 2009] was enough to feed 330 million people for one year at average world consumption levels,” said Lester Brown, the director of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington thinktank ithat conducted the analysis.

Last year 107m tonnes of grain, mostly corn, was grown by US farmers to be blended with petrol. This was nearly twice as much as in 2007, when Bush challenged farmers to increase production by 500% by 2017 to save cut oil imports and reduce carbon emissions.

More than 80 new ethanol plants have been built since then, with more expected by 2015, by which time the US will need to produce a further 5bn gallons of ethanol if it is to meet its renewable fuel standard.

According to Brown, the growing demand for US ethanol derived from grains helped to push world grain prices to record highs between late 2006 and 2008. In 2008, the Guardian revealed a secret World Bank report that concluded that the drive for biofuels by American and European governments had pushed up food prices by 75%, in stark contrast to US claims that prices had risen only 2-3% as a result.

Since then, the number of hungry people in the world has increased to over 1 billion people, according to the UN’s World Food programme. Full Story

Female Genocide for Population Reduction

China’s one-child policy, implemented for purposes of population control as requested by the United Nations and the World Bank (as spoken about in the first video), is being hailed as an ideal model: “The often brutal Chinese program of population reduction and control is being held up as an ideal model for governments when “integrating population programs” into environmental policies.”

China, like India, is experiencing a severe shortage of women from their population as a result of the one-child policy implemented in 1979. Although China’s family planning policy has received criticism over the past three decades, Zhao said that China’s population program has made a great historic contribution to the well-being of society.

It’s hard to imagine how anyone could think that the slow and deliberate murder of baby girls (as you will see in the videos below) has made a great historic contribution to the well-being of society. Or how forced abortions, some into the ninth month of pregnancy, contributes to this well-being.

From an NPR article Cases of Forced Abortions Surface in China:

Liang Yage and his wife Wei Linrong had one child and believed that — like many other couples — they could pay a fine and keep their second baby. Wei was 7 months pregnant when 10 family planning officials visited her at home on April 16.

Liang describes how they told her that she would have to have an abortion, “You don’t have any more room for maneuver,” he says they told her. “If you don’t go [to the hospital], we’ll carry you.” The couple was then driven to Youjiang district maternity hospital in Baise city.

“I was scared,” Wei told NPR. “The hospital was full of women who’d been brought in forcibly. There wasn’t a single spare bed. The family planning people said forced abortions and forced sterilizations were both being carried out. We saw women being pulled in one by one.”

The couple was given a consent agreement to sign. When Liang refused, family planning officials signed it for him. He and his wife are devout Christians — he is a pastor — and they don’t agree with abortion.

The officials gave Wei three injections in the lower abdomen. Contractions started the next afternoon, and continued for almost 16 hours. Her child was stillborn.

“I asked the doctor if it was a boy or girl,” Wei said. “The doctor said it was a boy. My friends who were beside me said the baby’s body was completely black. I felt desolate, so I didn’t look up to see the baby.”

Medical sources say fetuses aborted in this manner would have been dead for some time, so the tissue is necrotic and thus dark in color.

“The nurses dealt with the body like it was rubbish,” Wei said. “They wrapped it up in a black plastic bag and threw it in the trash.”

Excerpts from the recent article When abortion isn’t a choice clearly outline the danger of China’s population control:

Reggie Littlejohn, founder and president of the Frontiers group, told the commission that China’s one-child policy “causes more violence against women and girls than any other official policy on Earth.”

Late-term abortions are problematic, but the Chinese are nothing if not efficient. On one Web site for Chinese obstetricians and gynecologists, doctors recently traded tips in a dispassionate discussion titled: “What if the infant is still alive after induced labor?” ChinaAid provided a translation of a thread regarding an eight-month-old fetus that survived the procedure.

“Xuexia” wrote: “Actually, you should have punctured the fetus’ skull.” Another poster, “Damohuyang,” wrote that most late-term infants died during induced labor, some lived and “would be left in trash cans. Some of them could still live for one to two days.”

The violence of these procedures doesn’t only kill the child in some instances. In two of the cases described in a document leaked this past August, the mothers died, too. Those who dissent, meanwhile, are persecuted.

Such has been the fate of activist Chen Guangcheng, who is serving a four-year sentence after exposing 130,000 forced abortions and sterilizations in Linyi County, Shandong province, in 2005. Named by Time magazine as one of 2006’s top 100 people “who shape our world,” Guangcheng, who is blind, was severely beaten and denied medical care the following year, according to an Amnesty International report.

The one-child policy has created other problems that threaten women and girls. The traditional preference for boys has meant sex-selected abortions resulting in a gender imbalance. Today, men in China outnumber women by 37 million, a disparity that has become a driving force behind sex slavery in Asia. Exacerbating the imbalance, about 500 women a day commit suicide in China — the highest rate in the world, which Littlejohn attributes in part to coercive family planning.

But is overpopulation really an issue?

In the many articles that refute the ‘myth’ of overpopulation, The overpopulation lie tells us: It is perhaps the single greatest disinformation campaign in human history: The planet is grossly overpopulated, and unless something is done to limit human population growth, calamity will ensue.

…while the one-billionth citizen of India was born last year, Japan, if it continues its current abortion policies and fails to raise its average birth rate of 1.4 children per married couple, will have fewer than 500 people by the year 3000. This is not a prophecy of the mad Aum Shinrikyo cult, but rather a pronouncement of Japan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Thomas Malthus is a British historical figure of great note. His most studied work, “An Essay on the Principle of Population as it Affects the Future Improvements of Society, with Remarks on the Speculations of M. Godwin, M. Condorcet and Other Writers,” was first published in 1798. Its thesis — that overpopulation would destroy the world unless war, famine and disease rose to check human growth — has proven to be dead wrong.

Malthus reasoned that, since people increase exponentially and food production only increases arithmetically, food production could not possibly hope to keep up with more and more empty stomachs. Ironically, he predicted mass starvation on the eve of one of the biggest farming expansions the world has ever seen. For free countries, hunger has effectively been eliminated.

Rather than booming, as one might expect in the face of such plenty, the world’s population is aging and in decline. As fertility rates fall and abortion, contraception and life spans increase, the world will soon enter a new paradigm in which the elderly outnumber the young. In 1975, the mean global age was 22. In 2050, it will be 38. Europe, South Korea and Japan will be particularly hard hit by this phenomenon.

The U.S. State Department and the United Nations are major players in this population game. Their measures are funded in large part by top U.S. foundations like Ford and Rockefeller. Ted Turner, founder of CNN, is also a major population-control sugar daddy for the United Nations, having cut a $1 billion check to the world body when conservatives in the U.S. Congress threatened not to pay off America’s back dues to the U.N. if those dues would be used to set up abortion clinics overseas.

In Is Human Population Really the Problem? author Jeff Lindsay says: But could it be that we are running out of space? Walk through New York, Calcutta, or Hong Kong and experience the incredible crowding: surely there just isn’t room for all these people. Yes, there are crowded places in the world. There are strong economic and social incentives for people to cluster together. If Manhattan were spread out over the state of Montana, it’s economic power would be greatly diminished (and a lot of moose would be mugged). Yet leave these population centers, and we find a remarkably unpopulated planet.

How much land does it take to hold 6 billion people? To give you an idea, consider the small nation of Japan. It has about 143,000 square miles of area. One square mile has 5280 * 5280 = 27.9 million square feet. Japan has a total of about 4 trillion square feet, enough to give each person of the earth 670 square feet. If we housed people in families of four in simple two-level buildings (8 people per building, one family of four per level), each building could be on a lot of over 5300 square feet. (Of course, I’ve ignored that fact that many parts of Japan would be unsuitable for dwelling places, and I’ve neglected the land needed for roads, parks, schools, etc.) In a land area as small as Japan, the entire population of the earth could be housed on lots of 5300 square feet, with 8 people per lot. That’s smaller than the typical American lot of about 8000 square feet, but it’s not unbearably small.If we insisted on American standards, with only 4 people per lot of at least 8,000 square feet, then Gale Lyle Pooley shows that an area the size of Texas plus Nevada would be adequate (op. cit., p. 93). That would make those two states less attractive, perhaps, but it would leave the rest of the world for food production, animal reserves, nature movies, Woodstock festivals, or whatever. In terms of the real resources of this planet, we are not overpopulated.

From the growing screeches of the manmade global warming alarmists, overpopulation has become a hot topic. But is global warming a real phenomenon? Check out The Money Making Global Warming Scam to get a different viewpoint, and to start putting questions to the elitist agendas that are costing women their lives.

The Dying Rooms 1/4

The Dying Rooms 2/4

The Dying Rooms 3/4

The Dying Rooms 4/4

World Wants to Divorce Itself From U.S. Dollar

“US is on the slippery slope to economic collapse”

The Demise of the Dollar

UN dollar to replace US dollar?

UN Says New Currency Is Needed to Fix Broken ‘Confidence Game’

The dollar’s role in international trade should be reduced by establishing a new currency to protect emerging markets from the “confidence game” of financial speculation, the United Nations said.

UN countries should agree on the creation of a global reserve bank to issue the currency and to monitor the national exchange rates of its members, the Geneva-based UN Conference on Trade and Development said today in a report.

China, India, Brazil and Russia this year called for a replacement to the dollar as the main reserve currency after the financial crisis sparked by the collapse of the U.S. mortgage market led to the worst global recession since World War II. China, the world’s largest holder of dollar reserves, said a supranational currency such as the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights, or SDRs, may add stability.

“There’s a much better chance of achieving a stable pattern of exchange rates in a multilaterally-agreed framework for exchange-rate management,” Heiner Flassbeck, co-author of the report and a UNCTAD director, said in an interview from Geneva. “An initiative equivalent to Bretton Woods or the European Monetary System is needed.”

The 1944 Bretton Woods agreement created the modern global economic system and institutions including the IMF and World Bank.

Enhanced SDRs

While it would be desirable to strengthen SDRs, a unit of account based on a basket of currencies, it wouldn’t be enough to aid emerging markets most in need of liquidity, said Flassbeck, a former German deputy finance minister who worked in 1997-1998 with then U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers to contain the Asian financial crisis.

Emerging-market countries are underrepresented at the IMF, hindering the effectiveness of enhanced SDR allocations, the UN said. An organization should be created to manage real exchange rates between countries measured by purchasing power and adjusted to inflation differentials and development levels, it said.

“The most important lesson of the global crisis is that financial markets don’t get prices right,” Flassbeck said. “Governments are being tempted by the resulting confidence game catering to financial-market participants who have shown they’re inept at assessing risk.”

The 45-year-old UN group, run by former World Trade Organization chief Supachai Panitchpakdi, “promotes integration of developing countries in the world economy,” according to its Web site. Emerging-market nations should consider restricting capital mobility until a new system is in place, the group said.

The world body began issuing warnings in 2006 about financial imbalances leading to a global recession.

The Dollar Collapses

Over One Billion Starving People – Who Are the Culprits?

U.N. warns of catastrophe as hungry people top one billion

hunger

High food prices have pushed another 105 million people into hunger in the first half of 2009, the head of the U.N. World Food Programme said on Friday, raising the total number of hungry people to over 1 billion.

Urging rich nations at a meeting of G8 development ministers not to cut back on aid, Josette Sheeran said the world faced a human catastrophe as more people struggle to eat a decent meal.

“This year we are clocking in on average four million new hungry people a week, urgently hungry,” Sheeran told Reuters.

“For the first six months of this year, 105 million people have been added,” she said, citing figures to be released by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization next week that will raise the total number of undernourished people to over 1 billion.

In 2008, FAO said the world’s hungry numbered 963 million.

The WFP needs $6.4 billion this year for food aid, but donors’ contributions have fallen way behind that level — it had around $1.5 billion at the end of last week.

The agency says it has had to cut food aid rations and shut some operations in eastern Africa and North Korea because of the credit crunch.

“I know it seems a big figure, but if you compare it with the global stimulus package, it means that for less than 1 percent of that we could help meet the urgent human crisis that is unfolding, and that is just as essential to the stability of the world,” Sheeran said.

She said despite a decline in most food prices from record peaks last year, they remained high in developing countries, while global food aid was at a 20-year low.

The financial crisis has made things worse, and in terms of staple food, people in poorer countries today can only afford about a third of what they could afford three years ago. Full Story

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HungerSite.com

HungerSite.com

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Experts: Obama biofuel policy boosts world hunger

The Obama administration’s policy of producing ethanol as a renewable fuel substitute for gasoline will add to the number of people in Third World countries who are chronically hungry, according to energy experts.

The administration’s mandates for the use of ethanol are “immoral,” asserts Robert Bryce, managing editor of the monthly industry magazine Energy Tribune.

“We are burning food to make motor fuel at a time when there’s a growing global shortage of food and no shortage of motor fuel,” Bryce told WND.

“The corn ethanol scam is not an energy program,” he continued. “It is a massive farm subsidy program masquerading as an energy program.”

The U.S. Department of Energy did not respond to a WND request for comment on this story.

A controversial report released earlier this month by the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, said the increasing demand for corn to produce ethanol contributed between 10 to 15 percent of the overall 5.1 percent increase in the price of food from April 2007 to April 2008, as measured by the Consumer Price Index. Full Story

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How the World Bank, IMF and WTO destroyed African agriculture

Biofuel production is certainly one of the culprits in the current global food crisis. But while the diversion of corn from food to biofuel feedstock has been a factor in food prices shooting up, the more primordial problem has been the conversion of economies that are largely food-self-sufficient into chronic food importers. Here the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) figure as much more important villains.

Whether in Latin America, Asia, or Africa, the story has been the same: the destabilization of peasant producers by a one-two punch of IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programs that gutted government investment in the countryside followed by the massive influx of subsidized U.S. and European Union agricultural imports after the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture pried open markets. .

African agriculture is a case study of how doctrinaire economics serving corporate interests can destroy a whole continent’s productive base. Full Story

World Bank President Warns of Social Crisis

Rising unemployment raises threat of social crisis: World Bank

World economic recovery will be slow and rising unemployment could bring the threat of social crisis and protectionism, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said in an interview with Spanish Sunday newspaper El Pais.

“What began as a great financial crisis and became a great economic crisis is now becoming a great crisis of unemployment, and if we don’t take measures there is a risk of a great human and social crisis, with major political implications,” he said.

“That’s a good breeding ground for populist, protectionist policies,” he added.

“The finance ministers of the G7 and the G20 are displaying a certain relief because the contraction has slowed. Although we could still have low or negative growth, the situation is less bad,” he said.

“But economists and industrialists are conscious that the recovery will be slow coming and weaker than expected.”

Dangers remain in the U.S. financial system and in vulnerable emerging markets, Zoellick said.

“Maybe the key thing that has to be cleaned up is the financial system. The USA has taken steps in the right direction, but there are still banks with serious difficulties related to consumer finance, credit cards and real estate.

“On top of that, the United States depends more than Europe on the mortgage securitization market, and that market has yet to recover,” he said.

He said there were risks in Africa, parts of Latin America and in Eastern Europe.

“China could surprise on the upside, it has obtained good results from its stimulus plan. For countries like Mexico and Brazil, the main threat is losing access to finance,” Zoellick said.