Monday, August 16, 2010

Food price famine in Niger

After talking about the emergency food distribution in Niger and how 80% of the population is currently food insecure, we come to this choice entry:
The paradox of this year's worsening food shortage is the presence of plentiful quantities of food in many markets throughout the country. "There is a relatively good flow of food into the markets in Niger, yet prices remain extremely high," said Ferrera. "Since 2008 there has been a lot of speculation and tension in the markets. There has been good food production in neighbouring countries, yet prices are abnormally high." ...

"There is food in the markets but the purchasing power of the people is very weak," said Mahamadou Danda, Niger's prime minister. "Without assistance, the people cannot afford to buy it." ...
This isn't a boom-driven famine a la Sen -- crops largely failed because of drought and now flood -- but markets can find the food even if people can't afford it. (Hat tip: PNB, who has a series of guest blogs reporting on Niger at length)

Update: "The World Food Programme has to now pick and choose which families receive food because of a lack of money. The WFP will only give food to families that have children younger than two years old."

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