Friday, October 5, 2007

Support Food Aid That Helps, Not Hurts

Hi Newshackers,

I've been silent for awhile for a variety of reasons, among them the depressing nature of our political discourse in recent months. Today, however, I received the following request to sign a petition from Care2 and felt motivated to take action and to call on my readers to act on this issue as well.

Quoted From Emily's message from Care2:

"If our "food aid" makes poor countries dependent on international agribusiness companies, is that really helping them?

No! Tell the Senate to support cash for local and regional purchases of food aid! >>

When cheap food mostly purchased from US agribusinesses is dumped at below market costs in hunger-stricken countries, it drives local farmers off the land and out of work.

Fortunately, the Senate is drafting language in the 2007 Farm Bill for a pilot program to purchase food from local and regional farmers in times of food crisis, which would help local farmers feed their families and communities and promote sustainable agricultural practices." http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/290828030?z00m=10309155

I signed that petition and added my own comments to it:

"Giving poor countries our excess food production LOOKS generous, but in reality does NOTHING to aid farmers in those regions in creating markets that will support their own food production capabilities. This so-called charity assures that those people will continue to need our aid rather than helping them become able to feed themselves. This undermines their human dignity and gives them no hope for food independence in the future. Monetary charity can. This is the charity we owe our brothers, not just the scraps from our overburdened and wasteful tables. End the Codex and give the world's poor the monetary aid that will truly help them."

I urge you all to do the same.

/Dick

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