Stuffed and Starved: Amy Goodman entrevista a Raj Patel
Stuffed and Starved: As Food Riots Break Out Across the Globe, Raj Patel Details “The Hidden Battle for the World Food System”
AMY GOODMAN: For our last segment, we look at the dramatic rise in global food prices, adding a new level of danger to the crisis of world hunger. In Africa, food riots have swept across the continent, with recent protests in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Senegal. In most of West Africa, the price of food has risen by 50 percent—in Sierra Leone, 300 percent. Last week, African finance ministers warned the rise in international food prices “poses significant threats to Africa’s growth, peace and security.” Other protests have been held this past week in countries like Cambodia, Indonesia, Egypt. In Haiti, at least five people have died in riots over 50 percent price hikes for rice, beans and fruit since last year. The demonstrations continued Monday outside the national palace in Port-au-Prince.
HAITIAN DEMONSTRATOR: We are protesting voluntarily. It is not for money. The parliament is responsible for all of this. All we ask for is for the government to cut down on prices of food.
AMY GOODMAN: Last month, the World Food Program issued a rare appeal for an additional $500 million in funding. For its part, the Bush administration has reduced emergency food aid. Last month, the US Agency for International Development said that a 41 percent surge in prices for wheat, corn, rice and other cereals over the past six months has generated a $120 million budget shortfall that will force the agency to reduce emergency operations.
What’s causing this food price hike? What can be done to reverse it? Raj Patel explores this question in his new book Stuffed and Starved: the Hidden Battle for the World Food System. He’s a writer, activist, former policy analyst with Food First, formerly worked for the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations, and has also protested them on four continents. He joins us from San Francisco.