Sunday, April 13, 2008

IMF head says millions will face starvation unless...

Reproduced below is an article from BBC. It talks about the IMF chief warning that the high food prices unless checked can lead to millions to face starvation. The obvious question is why he does not do anything about it. If at all he is the one who can tell Governments what to do and offer loans and write off bad loans.

IMF head gives food price warning

The IMF's Strauss-Kahn wants strong action on food price inflation
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that hundreds of thousands of people will face starvation if food prices keep rising.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that social unrest from continuing food price inflation could cause conflict.
There have been food riots recently in a number of countries, including Haiti, the Philippines and Egypt.
Meeting in Washington, the IMF called for strong action on food prices and the international financial crisis.
Market turmoil
Although the problems in global credit markets were the main focus of the meeting of the IMF's steering committee of finance ministers from 24 countries, Mr Strauss-Kahn warned of dire consequences from continued food price rises.
"Thousands, hundreds of thousands of people will be starving. Children will be suffering from malnutrition, with consequences for all their lives," he told reporters.
He said the problem could lead to trade imbalances that may eventually affect developed nations, "so it is not only a humanitarian question".
Food prices have risen sharply in recent months, driven by increased demand, poor weather in some countries and an increase in the use of land to grow crops for transport fuels.
The steering committee also called for "strong action" among its 185 members to deal with "the still unfolding financial market turmoil and... the potential worsening" of housing markets and the credit crunch.
The finance ministers did not dissent from the IMF's previous forecast that only a moderate slowdown in world economic growth is the most likely outcome over the next year or two.


gaddeswarup said...

Frontline, April 12-25 has several articles on this issue. They seem reasonable to me. The overall thrust is:
"Market forces almost invariably promote those who have market power and economic growth powered by them often bypasses the poor and the vulnerable who are the overwhelming majority of our people."
The quotation is from a paper by Arjub Sengupta and others on 'common people' in EPW, March 15.

gaddeswarup said...

There is a brief summary of IRRC (M.S.Swaminathan was the director in the eighties) background paper on rice scarcity in Chris Blattman's blog:

Anant said...

Dear Swarup,

Thank you for your comment.

Regards, Anant