Many experts have said it in the past: the world is not immune to a new food crisis. And it could very well be that spring 2010, just two years after the 2008 food crisis, proves them right.
In fact, as Olivier Longué, Director General of Action Against Hunger (Madrid) – the branch of the NGO operating in the Sahel – recently pointed out, there is a threat of famine. 2009 cereal production levels fell drastically, mainly as a result of irregular rainfall, which is down by 34% in Chad compared to 2008, down 31% in Niger and down 10% in Burkina Faso. Even if Mali’s situation is generally better, with a 10% increase in rainfall, the north east of the country is also affected.
According to Oxfam, in the coming months, close to 10 million people could be affected in this region of the world, where already 300,000 children die every year from malnutrition.
This new crisis, which comes just two years after the previous one, is an illustration of the misery to which a certain number of developing countries is condemned. How can we expect these countries to develop when they constantly face serious food crises that wipe out their population? Many measures need to be implemented to remedy the situation. These include developing investment in these countries in order to modernize their agriculture and make them less vulnerable to the vagaries of the weather, and stabilizing international agricultural markets, whose hyper-volatile prices seriously aggravate the situation in many countries.