"Every five seconds, a child under 10 dies of hunger. -- Thirty-five million people die each year from hunger or its immediate aftermath. -- One billion people are permanently and severely malnourished and the situation is becoming increasingly catastrophic." (Jean Ziegler)
In his latest book 'Mass Destruction -- the Geopolitics of Hunger', Jean Ziegler talks about the current state of the world and the neoliberal politics of starvation of the poor, which has led to a crisis situation amounting to calculated murder. What we are witnessing today is the worst hunger crisis in human history is. And it is all because of human greed, colossal mismanagement for profit.
Professor Ziegler deals in detail with the various causes of the current worldwide hunger disaster, which could have been avoided. This crisis is not determined by fate -- or, to use Ziegler's own word -- 'La famine n'est pas une fatalite'. The world could perfectly well provide food for 12 billion people, almost the double of the present population of 7 billion.
So what made this murderous situation possible where thousands of people are dying (37,000 every day) from lack of food and clean water? It could have been avoided. It should not be happening.
The agroindustry is killing off small farmers -- some countries are fighting back
The exceptional development that is taking place today in Latin America is liberating it from the grip of neoliberalism. This can only emphasize the point that the horrible famine that is seen in Africa and south Asia should never have happened. Latin America is forcefully fighting against dependency on the International Monetary Fund (IMF), The World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO) -- the three horsemen of the Apocalypse, in Jean Ziegler's own words.
Redistribution of land from large estates with huge tracts of uncultivated areas to small farmers has proven extremely effective in raising the standard of living, in helping the poorest of the poor in several Latin American countries. These countries have wrenched themselves free from the killer treaties like NAFTA, CAFTA and FTAA, created exclusively for rich North America to take over the natural resources in the southern hemisphere.
Latin American countries have now created trade treaties of their own, like MERCOSUR and ALBA. However, It remains to be seen how well MERCOSUR will be able to stand up to U.S. imperialism.
Organized hunger has been made the order of the day, without any visible protest
It was done step by step, in the deepest secrecy, since the Main-Stream Media (MSM) did not even touch on the subject, if they even knew about it. And all the time we were thinking: "There must be a way back. This can not go on." And then it went on. And it got worse. And worse.
The transnational corporations essentially own the western governments and they are running the world for the profit of their own cabal, and for profit alone.
The small farmers, the subsistence farmers who produced enough food to provide for their families and for selling at the market for a modest income, are being ruined, by careful planning.
The small farmers in Africa and elsewhere needed help to go on with their hard work to support their families and to produce food for the country. Droughts, military conflicts, political crises, natural catastrophes, man-made emergency situations, all these contributed to recurrent food crises.
IMF was ready to extend big loans, BUT with strings attached. Structural adjustment programs would follow and the people were the victims. There was now less money for the governments to spend on education, health care, food aid to the desperately poor, infrastructure -- and the list goes on. Unemployment and poverty increased and new loans were needed, if only to pay off the interest on the old loans to the tiger sharks, 'les requins tigres' -- Jean Ziegler's term. Now the third world countries are enslaved in a vicious spiral of debts.
There is of course also disastrous corruption among the leaders of the countries in need that prevents the money from many well-intentioned NGOs from getting into the right hands.