World Hunger Essay

1413 words - 6 pages

In spite of international food assistance over many years, large numbers of people in the world are hungry and many die from lack of food--as many as 40,000 each day!A global food stamp program supported by high-income countries would facilitate the purchase of food by poor people in developing countries, and because of the increased economic demand for food, rural economies in both developed and less developed countries would be rejuvenated.An international food stamp program, here proposed, could augment the purchasing power of world's poorest nations while stimulating the demand for agricultural commodities in the high income, food surplus nations. Farm prices in the high-income countries and the world market would increase 30-35 percent, and commercial exports of agricultural commodities, 60 percent.The program would virtually eliminate hunger and malnutrition in the third world, where 40,000 people, by some estimates, die each day from lack of food. In addition, the rejuvenation of rural economies in both developed and less developed countries would stimulate world economic growth. And this could be accomplished for about the same amount of money now being spent by the world's high-income nations on farm income support and foreign food aid programs. (Kuhn et al, p. 31-45)A Global Food Stamp ProgramThis international food stamp program would be similar in setup to the U.S. food stamp program. Pieces of paper, food stamp vouchers, would be distributed to the poorest people in the world's poorest nations. The recipients would use the stamps to buy food. Food vendors in these countries would redeem the food stamps for domestic currency; they would also be allowed to exchange them for hard currency to pay for imported food. The food stamps themselves could be distributed through a variety of institutions--religious institutions, health care facilities, schools, local units of government, or new institutions set up for the purpose.Administration of the overall program could fall to any one of a number of international institutions such as the United Nations, U.S. AID. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, or a combination of agencies working together. Program funding would come from the 12 to 15 high-income countries of the world, each contributing according to its population and per capita income.The total cost for such a program would depend on how much the world's developed nations wish to support it. It has been calculated that to bring the average per capita food consumption of the world's poorest countries up to the level that exists in the lower middle-income countries, such as the Philippines and Morocco, the cost to the world economy would be about $75 billion per year in current prices.That's a lot of money, but by coincidence, this is roughly what the world's wealthier country to support farm incomes and food aid programs spend each year. If an international food stamp program were set up to operate at this level, traditional...

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