Business, Finance & Economics

Financial crisis could harm those most in need

There are millions of people dying, especially children, from malnutrition and this is a solvable problem. It can be solved by helping the poorest farmers in the world get enough seeds so they can grow food for their families and bring food to market. (So seeds and fertilizers is all it would take?) It's not everything, but that could double or triple the food production in Africa and that would relieve a lot of problems. This would cost a couple billion dollars a year for the poorest countries in Africa, and the rich countries promised that and they haven't followed through. They made $12 billion dollars of commitment in June, but only $50 million dollars has been received. For the banking crisis, the rich countries have mobilized $3 trillion dollars. (Is the concern that there will now be less money or is the concern that the crisis is being used as an excuse not to spend money on hunger alleviation?) I think it's understood now that the rich countries have made lots of promises that weren't fulfilled. They weren't fulfilled during the boom, and they won't be now�excuse or not. (The Western African countries thought they would be spared from this economic crisis�will that be true?) There are 3 major channels through which the poor will be hit: 1) the prices of commodities which are falling, which hurts the poorest farmers. 2) the volume of trade in world markets is slowing. 3) the potential for cutbacks or delays in donated aid. It doesn't have to be like this though, especially considering the level of this bailout.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

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