" As a member of Oxfam's humanitarian support team, I can be deployed globally at short notice. My job is to provide short-term leadership or support in emergencies or humanitarian situations. From last October, I have been based in West Africa as the senior humanitarian adviser for the Sahel region - Mauritania, Mali and Niger...The food crisis was widely perceived in the media to relate to food shortages which then caused widespread hunger and malnutrition...Although this played an important role at a local level, it wasn't the main cause as the following example illustrates. During the crisis, Niger was still exporting food and staple cereals were available in the markets. The problem, however, was the poorest and most vulnerable people hadn't produced enough grain to survive and couldn't afford to buy it in the markets. Once people run out of money they turn to "coping strategies", for instance getting into debt or selling off their assets including their valuable animals....For the poorest people who are vulnerable to food crisis, the main problem is access to food, not availability of food - food is usually available but they can't get it..." - Scottish Oxfam worker David Crawford
Famines are not inevitable and they do not happen in isolation from the rest of the world. A drought is a natural event. Mass starvation is not. They are the consequence of human decision-making. Public indifference will only be dispelled when the media begin to explain, carefully and accurately, how and why famine occurs.
There was no shortage of food in the world. Thats a verifiable fact. The causes of hunger and famine have little to do with a shortage of food. The real problem is elsewhere. Capitalists are not interested in production to benefit the peoples of the world. They are interested only in profits. Despite the hunger and famine in dozens of countries it is not profitable to feed starving peoples if they cannot pay for food. Thus we recognize that despite every humanitarian declaration of rights it is legal for any individual to be deprived of food and left to die of hunger. If the economists were honest that would even say that this is the general condition of society and capitalists are obliged to starve people. Without exaggeration, it can be seen that the whole of our current society supports the legality of famine. It is a crime to be without money and it is punishable by the death penalty. The struggle to rid the world of famine starts not with the begging bowl and pleas for pity, but by breaking the criminal conspiracy of capitalism.