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UN Cuts Food Aid as Hunger Worsens, While NATO’s Food Narrative Is To Blame Russia

July 18, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—In recent months the World Food Program has cut the volume of food aid provided through UN agencies in Afghanistan, Haiti, and other points of extreme need, as funding donations have dropped drastically.

Overall, the number of people worldwide who are lacking reliable food now exceeds 2 billion, of whom there are 750 million going hungry, which is an increase of 122 million from 2019 to 2022. The latest world picture is provided in the annual UN multi-agency report released last week, “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World—2023.”

Recent WFP press releases give the updates on food relief cuts:

In Haiti, the number of people receiving emergency food assistance was cut by 25% in July, down from June, reports a World Food Program release yesterday. “Tragically, this means 100,000 of the most vulnerable Haitians are forced to get by without any WFP support this month.

“At the current level of funding for the calendar year, WFP lacks the resources to provide food assistance to a total of 750,000 people who are in urgent need. This is at a time when the country is facing an unprecedented level of humanitarian needs, with nearly half of the population—4.9 million people—unable to find enough to eat.”

In Afghanistan, over May and June, food aid was cut that would have been sufficient emergency relief for 8 million people, so the current aid level is in the range of supplying food to 6-7 million people, down from 13-15 million people receiving aid each month early in the year. Overall an estimated 27 million people in Afghanistan need food aid, out of the 37 million people with not enough to eat. The country’s population is only 40.1 million. These UN agency cuts in food aid directly reflect the “war economy” orientation in the trans-Atlantic, in which the NATO member budgets are built up for arms, and slashing resources for food relief donations.

With an collaborative international food-production and -distribution mobilization, the physical demands for temporary food relief sufficient to end hunger everywhere could be met in two crop cycles, in 24-36 months. That can be part of increasing annual world grain output to reach the range of some 6 billion metric tons from its current volume of less than 3 billion metric tons.

Instead of such an approach, U.S. and other Western nations in recent decades have perpetrated a cynical “food relief pretense,” in which their budgets and a few billionaire donors would finance the WFP and other agencies and charities, which then bought food from the commodities cartel (Cargill, Bunge, ADM, and others), and made hand-outs, along with cash vouchers. That has fed some people, but was mostly an adjunct to the City of London/Wall Street policy of preventing nations from developing their economies, including advanced-technology food production, and preventing construction of their infrastructure everywhere, including water management, transportation, and power systems required for modern, high-yield agriculture. They propagated the awful, imperial green narrative that those suffering hunger are a permanent feature of an overpopulated world.

WFP Director David Beasley (2017-March 2023) tried to fight this, often saying that when he began at the WFP, he hope he could soon put himself out of a job by eliminating world hunger. His replacement, now politely overseeing the cuts in lifesaving relief, is Mrs. Cindy McCain, widow of warhawk Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). U.S. President Joe Biden appointed her, moving her to become WFP executive, from being ambassador to UN food agencies in Rome, 2021-2023.

This week’s new NATO food narrative is that Russia will be causing any increase in hunger and spikes  in food prices, by terminating the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Reality check: The key terms of the Initiative, agreed upon in July 2022, were never fulfilled to support Russian food and fertilizer exports. As Russia allowed the Initiative to expire on July 17, it stated that whenever the terms to allow its exports are fulfilled, Moscow will rejoin the deal.

For the record, here are the two prior NATO food narratives:

Narrative 1 was the outrageous lie that Ukraine was a major provider of grain to poor countries, and Russia was starving people by its special military operation since February 2022. Fact check: Ukraine has been, since the 1990s, a major source of grain on the commercial market for developed countries, such as Spain, Japan, the Netherlands, and for China and others, for livestock feed and food needs. These importers account for over 90% of Ukraine’s exports; this “world sourcing,” was imposed on Ukraine beginning in the 1990s, by cartel domination of Ukrainian agriculture potential of land use, processing, and shipping.

Narrative 2, promoted in fall 2022 to replace the discredited “Ukraine supplies poor countries,” states that preventing Ukraine Black Sea food export shipments raised prices on the world grain markets, and that is what harms poor, grain-import dependent nations. The narrative does not admit, of course, that the Western/NATO sanctions policies against Russia, non-fulfillment of the Black Sea Grain Initiative terms, and similar actions, are causing the disruptions and hyperinflation.

The drop in funding for emergency food to Afghanistan is catastrophic. As of June, as summarized by Voice of America, June 20: “The United States, which contributed more than $1.2 billion to the humanitarian appeal last year, has given $74 million as of this past June. Similarly, the United Kingdom, another major donor, allocated $522 million in 2022 but has only contributed around $30 million thus far in 2023. Germany’s funding has dropped from $444 million to $34 million during the same period, according to UN figures.”

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