Friday, April 23, 2010

Structural Violence / Global Food Crisis

Economic Crisis Adds Millions to Ranks of Poorest
By Ed Cropley
Reuters dspatch, April 23, 2010
"Last year's global slump will condemn 53 million more people to extreme poverty and contribute to 1.2 million child deaths in the next five years, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) said. Despite these setbacks, the joint report released on Friday said the overall number of people living on less than $1.25 a day, the definition of 'extreme poverty,' would fall to 920 million by 2015 compared to 1.8 billion in 1990. This puts emerging nations broadly on track to achieve a United Nations 'Millennium Development Goal' of halving 1990 rates of extreme poverty by 2015. However, the 2008-09 financial and economic turmoil and the food price crisis that preceded it in early 2008 mean the prognosis is not so good for a similar drive to cut global rates of hunger and malnutrition. More than a billion people, or one in six people on the planet, are still struggling to meet basic food needs, leading to increased instances of disease -- and ultimately death -- in young children and pregnant women, the report said. World Bank projections cited in the report said 1.2 million children were likely to die between 2009 and 2015 as a result of the two crises.
However, the two institutions concluded the fallout would have been more serious had developing country governments not followed sound macro-economic policies before the crisis, giving themselves room to maintain social safety nets in hard times. 'The financial crisis was a severe external shock that hit poor countries hard. Its effects could have been far worse were it not for better policies and institutions in developing countries over the past 15 years,' IMF Deputy Managing Director Murilo Portugal said in a statement. [...]"

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