The New Face of Hunger

The New Face of Hunger


This week, UN World Food Program issued a bleak warning: In the future, the WFP said, there will be food on the shelves. It’s just that many won’t be able to afford it.

As food prices have spiked–in some places, by up to 40%–the WFP announced that its $2.9 billion budget is no longer enough to maintain even current food deliveries, much less expand. Last year to take one example, with the rising cost of fuel and food prices, the United States purchased less than half the amount of food aid it did in 2000.

But in the case of the U.S., it doesn’t have to be that way. Currently, existing U.S. rules mandate that at least 75% of its food aid be grown and packaged in the United States (that is, benefit U.S. producers) before being shipped across the sea. Accordingly, the cost in transport–particularly as oil prices have risen–is extraordinary. (A recent GAO study reported shipping costs account for 65% of total program expenditures for the largest U.S. food emergency program.) These days as the UN scrambles to ration food, as the Bush administration has proposed (and Congress has rejected), it’d be a much more charitable gesture for the U.S. to step up what it buys locally–where it’s needed.

Thank you for reading The Nation!

We hope you enjoyed the story you just read. It takes a dedicated team to publish timely, deeply researched pieces like this one. For over 150 years, The Nation has stood for truth, justice, and democracy. Today, in a time of media austerity, articles like the one you just read are vital ways to speak truth to power and cover issues that are often overlooked by the mainstream media.

This month, we are calling on those who value us to support our Spring Fundraising Campaign and make the work we do possible. The Nation is not beholden to advertisers or corporate owners—we answer only to you, our readers.

Can you help us reach our $20,000 goal this month? Donate today to ensure we can continue to publish journalism on the most important issues of the day, from climate change and abortion access to the Supreme Court and the peace movement. The Nation can help you make sense of this moment, and much more.

Thank you for being a supporter of independent journalism.

Ad Policy