«Clearly there are crisis and crisis, urgencies and urgencies, billions and billions », as an article1 din Le Monde underscores it. After the 700 billion dollars mobilised by the US Treasury and the 1700 billion euros announced these last days by the European countries, aimed at dealing with the international financial crisis, we can only wonder. Indeed, of all the promises made last June at the FAO to bring the food crisis to a halt (which amounted to 6,5 billion euros), only 10% were honoured, which in fact represents less than 0,03% of the sums devoted to fighting the financial crisis .
This situation is even more surprising when historically and structurally, the financial sector is less of a supporter of government interventionism and regulation than the agricultural sector. This having been said, international mobilisation is especially urgent for agriculture, when many experts indicate that the world is not immune against a major food crisis, with consequences at least as serious as the current financial panic. According to the FAO a boost to world agriculture would require 30 billion dollars per year – a drop in the ocean compared to the amounts mobilised by western governments to recapitalise their troubled banks.
1 Le Monde, « Des moyens, mais pas pour la faim », par Laetitia Clavreul, édition du 13/10/08.