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Monday, July 11, 2011

Hunger in Syria, Libya and Yemen

Well this was completely predictable. There are now food and water shortages in Syria, Libya and Yemen.
Reports of widespread hunger have emerged in recent weeks in Libya and Syria. On Wednesday, Yemen was officially added to the list of food trouble spots when a United Nation mission visiting Yemen called on the international community to quickly provide humanitarian aid to the impoverished country, pushed to the verge of starvation by five months of protests and armed insurrection.

"Before the unrest began, seven million Yemenis were forced to reduce their number of daily meals from three to one," Aziz Al-Athwari, Yemen country director at Oxfam, a British aid agency, told The Media Line. "Although we have no current statistics, that number has certainly increased since fighting began."

Seven million is equal to nearly a third of Yemen’s population. The UN’s World Food Program (WFP) recently launched an emergency operation to feed 1.7 million severely food insecure Yemenis. The poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen has been rocked by deadly protests since late January demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster.

All three Middle East countries suffered from food and water shortfalls even before unrest broke out, preventing inputs like seeds and fertilizer reaching farmers and severing transportation links to markets. But with fighting in Libya and Yemen nearly reaching their fifth month and unrest in Syria nearing its fourth, economic paralysis has become the norm.

And as the fighting goes on, world food prices are rising. In June they reached a near record led by sharp increase in sugar prices outweighed a slump in the grains complex, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Thursday.

The FAO’s food price index, which covers prices of a basket of commodities, rose 1% to 234 points last month, up 39% compared with the same time last year and just below the record 238 points hit in February.

Food prices are likely to stay at historically-high—and volatile—levels well into 2012, the FAO said.
But hey - let's keep sending flotillas to Gaza. They're really starving there. Read the whole thing.

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At 12:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

But Carl - every one knows the real humanitarian crisis in Gaza!

What could go wrong indeed


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