Monday, August 23, 2010

profits before people

A food crisis in Niger is being made worse by hoarders who sell grain at prices beyond the reach of most people, Save the Children says. Traders are buying grain cheaply from farmers as soon as it is harvested. They then hoard it for several months, waiting until grain runs into short supply. Farmers are then forced to buy their own crops back at hugely inflated prices. Many cannot afford it and they go hungry.

"These traders are using market fluctuations to make a profit at the expense of ordinary people," said Josh Leighton, food security and livelihoods officer at Save the Children. "They are helping to fuel the current food crisis and are putting hundreds of thousands of children's lives at risk."

300,000 children under the age of five in Niger are acutely malnourished, and aid agencies are struggling to feed them. Floods have left more than 100,000 people homeless across the country.

No comments: