Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

The politics of food

In About the book on May 6, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Iraq’s sagging safety net

Salina, Kansas, 30 Apr 2012 – In February 2011, with grassroots uprisings having toppled the governments of Tunisia and Egypt, unrest was swelling in Iraq as well. In response, the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced that it was postponing a planned purchase of eighteen F-16 fighter planes from the United States. The money saved would be used, said al-Maliki, to provide Iraq’s poorest citizens with increased monthly rations from the country’s public food distribution system (PDS). The cancellation was a stark acknowledgment that when people are hungry, armaments won’t keep a country secure …

The politics of bread in Egypt

Salina, Kansas, 10 Mar 2012 – As Egypt’s revolution moves into what could be its most crucial phase, its supporters are demanding that the slogan “bread, dignity, and social justice” be recognized as more than a slogan. But a recent United Nations report warns that “economic issues, which have been central to the Arab uprisings, are trailing behind the political issues” in the struggle over the future of Egypt and its neighbours, “potentially risking the erosion of popular support for democratic transition if they are not properly addressed”.On the list of economic issues in Egypt, food is never far from the top …

Will India’s poor remain hungry?

Salina, Kansas, 26 Jan 2012 – As India’s proposed new Food Security Act hovers in political limbo, the nation remains hungry. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made headlines in early January when he labelled the fact that 44 per cent of children less than five years old were underweight and 65 children die each day of malnutrition “a national shame”. In all, 21 per cent of all Indians are undernourished.