It seems that the only thing that can waver the world is the plight of the rich. Because the world does not respond to numerous calls to save the poor and hungry. If it does, it is only through symbolic aid that never goes hand in hand with the volume of the crisis.
At a time when central banks of the largest industrialized countries have pumped more than 3,5 trillion dollars in less than a month to save the world economy of the financial crisis that threatens it, industrialized countries have paid only a pittance to save the hungry people whose number amounts to 925 million people, according to statistics from the Organization of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
François Danel, director general of Action against Hunger (ACF), is surprised by the speed and ease with which countries have come to mobilize the necessary funds to save big banks. He sees that "when it is about the tragedy of hunger and malnutrition, activists are struggling to mobilize the energies and funds"..According to Danel, the contrast seems very striking when a child under 10 years die of hunger or its consequences every five minutes in the world.
The mobilization of industrialized countries to address the global financial crisis comes at a time when the FAO stresses that the world needs 30 billion dollars a year to avoid the dangers of famine. A threat that has grown during the current year.
Jacques Diouf, general director of FAO, said that this amount should be reserved mainly to increase agricultural production worldwide. "Treating a child from malnutrition cost around 60 dollars per year", says Valerie Bemo from the Gates Foundation, "but at the level of global finance, public or private, malnutrition is completely neglected while 55 million children are malnourished".
Paluku Bahwere, expert from Valid International, a pioneer of treatment of child malnutrition at home, says that with the current global budget, only 5% of cases of severe malnutrition can be treated. "The sums that have been found to bail banks, obviously make us dreamers", he said.
For Luc Lamprière, general director of Oxsfam-France, regrets the unfulfilled financial commitments. "The is a lack of 30 billion dollars compared to the promises of 2005", he said. "Today, 290 million people can not afford to feed themselves".
Pascal Boniface, director of the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (IRIS) said that there's hundreds of millions of hungry people, but they do it quietly, so that this issue is not regarded as strategic by the government. According to him, "The sum asked for the fight against hunger makes people scream with laughter or terror, It's only 10% of the funds which have been vaniched in the stock market in 15 days, and hundreds of billions of dollars that have been removed from a pen to fight against that".
Dominic Schofield, from Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, said that the fight against hunger suffers from a lack of political will. He noted that an estimated three billion dollars a year would be needed to eradicate malnutrition.
Jean Ziegler, former UN rapporteur for food, says that "hunger is no longer inevitable in any place in the world". "A child dies of hunger is murdered", he says.
Ziegler sees that the developed countries are responsible for the unprecedented explosion in the prices of agricultural materialsin world, which caused riots in some forty countries in April 2008. "The development of ethanol and speculations, that would be easely banned, are behind the price surge", he says. He added that this price increase is "a formidable attack against the poorest of the planet".
Ziegler stressed the need for States to "massively increase their contributions" for the World Food Program (WFP) which has lost 40% of its purchasing power with the soaring prices of basic foodstuffs.
According to former international officials, "the banking and financial stampede " opposed to "moral bankruptcy" of governments on the issue of hunger. Stéphane Doyon, official representative of Medecins sans Frontiers (MSF), sees that the world must focus his aids on the 30 countries where children have no access to treatment against child malnutrition.
So does the world stop to rush to defend the interests of the rich instead of helping the poor? Or the question of food and malnutrition will lead to more dramas and "revolution of the hungry?"