May 19, 2008

The Global Food Crisis: How Bad Can it Get?

Really bad.

Two days ago IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) released a story from Sheberghan, Afghanistan stating that a man had sold one of his daughters for food. I don't think I need to tell anyone how disturbing that news is, but (to make matters worse) toward the end of the interview the man states that he only had two ways to get food for his wife and other three daughters: sell one of his children, or become a suicide bomber. I don't think we understand the urgency of the food crisis.

A month ago the Economist reported that roughly one billion people worldwide were living on $1 a day, the threshold for extreme poverty. About 3.5 million of those billion live in Afghanistan. Sheberghan is not a small city, nor is it in Hazarajat, the poorest region of Afghanistan. If stories like this are coming from a northern province, I can only imagine the devastation that is going on in the center. We're going to find that we're fighting against people who don't hate us at all, they're just feeding their starving families.

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