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World Hunger Grows: Farmers Demand End to Cartels’ ‘Irish Famine’ Ag Policy

FNPRCMFarm leaders of the National Front to Save the Mexican Countryside, on the grounds of ExpoCeres 2024, Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, March 15, 2024. Credit: FNPRCM

World hunger is increasing. In the forefront are the desperate situations in Gaza, Haiti, Sudan, and certain other locations. Overall some 2.3 billion people suffer from some degree of unreliable, inadequate food supplies—nearly a third of the world’s people. Of these, over 900 million are heading to serious food insecurity this year, of which over 300 million are in acute need already.

These are the summary estimates of the combined recent reports from the various updates by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, World Food Program, and World Health Organization, and others.

The number of people in low- and middle-income countries experiencing food insecurity increased by a total of 118.7 million in 2022 from 2021. Credit: USDA, Economic Research Service

The geography of hunger is indicated in the map shown here from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which has a whole division of statisticians “following” the worsening world situation, instead of collaborating with other nations and agencies to reverse it. The map, though done in 2022 to give a snapshot of only the increase in hunger after two years of COVID-19, is still up to date in indicating the general extent of the food crisis.

Behind the Patterns of Hunger

There are three patterns which stand out among many indicated in this snapshot picture. First, the largest number of people lacking food are in Africa. This is a testament to the intentions of Western policy of the last half century, to keep down the economies of the 54 nations of that continent. The means to do that include, besides the actions of the banking nexus of the IMF, the “agricultural-financial complex” that has enforced predatory trade patterns and prevented both modern farming, and the construction of infrastructure for water, power, transportation and industry in Africa. In recent years, Russia and China have been intervening against this with critical development projects at many key sites in Africa, such as the newly inaugurated Nyerere Hydropower Dam in Tanzania.

Second, the severe situation and the emergencies of Gaza, Haiti, Sudan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere directly result from the decades of Western geopolitics and militarism. In Gaza there is now a daily death toll from starvation and dehydration, and over 2 million people lack food.

The FAO-WFP “Early Warning” map shown here, issued twice a year, gives some idea of the location of the worst food crises as of the November 2023 to April 2024 period. Credit: UN Food and Agriculture Organiation, World Food Programme

Third, the record of the United States, and Canada, of not only tolerating, but even promoting hunger in their own back yards in the Americas, is miserable. Haiti right now needs emergency food for at least four million people out of its 11 million people suffering chaos from years of all kinds of anti-development, geopolitical actions by the U.S. In Cuba, on which the U.S. has kept sanctions since 1959, the government this month has had to request emergency milk powder from the UN World Food Program, for the first time. This is to ward off child malnutrition. The irony is that in the U.S., dairymen are currently in the lead of family farmers shutting down, because they can’t continue to operate at a loss.

This one example demonstrates how the general pattern is that, in recent decades, the U.S. has acted against both its neighbors and its own food and agriculture needs, through hostile measures of “free” (rigged for looting) trade deals and sanctions. Mexico, for example, was a self-sufficient, grain exporting nation as of the 1960s. But since the 1990s, from the introduction of “free” trade with the U.S. and Canada, it has suffered worsening hunger, destruction of its agriculture, and import-dependence. The “agro-financial complex” has intervened in countries from Peru to Costa Rica, to impose systems of low-cost production, for the cartels to sell in the U.S. market. This has reached the point that, statistically, the U.S., for the first time ever, has become a net food importer (in money terms) in the past few years.

Farmers Protest the ‘Famine’ System

The uprising of farmers in Europe and India, and the crossfire of support with the farmers and ranchers in the Americas, are, in effect, mobilizations from the food producers’ side of the world crisis, to end the “famine” policy now in effect from Western power centers. What is needed is a new economic system in the interests of all nations, not the looting system causing hunger and ruining food producers. The dynamic behind the common slogan in Europe is clear: “No Farmers, No Food, No Future.”

In Europe, there has been no meaningful response to the farmers’ clear demands from the European Union institutions so far this year, even in the face of the mass numbers of farmers and allies from all sectors, in the streets since January. In February, the EU heads of state summit of 27 nations came and went, and then the agriculture ministers did likewise, with only a few concessions, but no new policy direction. The farmers are continuing their fight.

The logo for the National Front to Save the Mexican Countryside, who held a demonstration March 15 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, as seen in photo above. Credit: FNPRCN

In the Americas this month, there are key actions. In Mexico, there was a meeting today, March 15, of the new organization (from Spring 2023), “National Front to Save the Mexican Countryside,” led by farmers from 20 states, which is meeting in Sinaloa—once called the Granary State—to confer on mobilizing to stop the dynamic destroying agriculture. They have the support of farm leaders in many parts of the U.S., who have signed a joint statement of “Common Purpose” with their Mexican fellow farmers and ranchers.

The agenda of the Mexican meeting shows the universal concerns of food producers. They will take up three main areas: (1) the world food crisis and the fraud of free trade agreements, (2) parity pricing and a national agricultural plan, and (3) building major water infrastructure and water management projects to deal with drought.

St. Patrick’s Day Dedication To End Famine

Also this month, in the United States, the independent LaRouche candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York, Diane Sare, put forth the necessity to end world famine and defeat the forces causing it, as the concept of her message for St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. A week in advance, she released her statement personally, campaigning in Syracuse. She then held a discussion today on the weekly online “Sare for Senate Symposium” titled, “From Ireland to Palestine: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by Ending Colonialism.”

In the Spirit of the Irish, Abolish Hunger Across the Globe, from Palestine to Port-au-Prince

The following is the full text of the March 9 statement by Sare (with citations spelled out and linked).

It is now known that as many as 1.5 million people died of starvation and disease in Ireland between 1845 and 1851, exactly the number of Palestinians being threatened with death by starvation right now in Gaza. In Ireland, the famine was caused, not by a “potato blight,” which is a cover story, but by theft of food from starving people!

An opinion piece by James Mullin entitled, “The Irish Famine: Complicity in Murder” (Washington Post, September 26, 1997), reported:

According to economist Cormac O’ Grada, more than 26 million bushels of grain were exported from Ireland to England in 1845, a “famine year.” Even greater exports are documented in the Spring 1997 issue of History Ireland by Christine Kinealy of the University of Liverpool. Her research shows that nearly 4,000 vessels carrying food left Ireland for ports in England during “Black ’47,” while 400,000 Irish men, women, and children died of starvation.

Shipping records indicate that 9,992 Irish calves were exported to England during 1847, a 33% increase from the previous year. At the same time, more than 4,000 horses and ponies were exported. In fact, the export of all livestock from Ireland to England increased during the famine except for pigs.… Other exports from Ireland during the “famine” included peas, beans, onions, rabbits, salmon, oysters, herring, lard, honey, and even potatoes.

The so-called “Irish Potato Famine” was not caused by blight, but by the willful intent of the British Empire to kill millions of Irish through starvation.

Today, the same thing is occurring in Gaza, Sudan, and even Haiti. This is not because the people who live in these places are too backward to feed themselves, as racist anthropologists would have you believe, but each case is mass murder by design and intent of a dying Anglo-Dutch Empire.

Over 90% of Gazan residents are now homeless and starving, while the IDF continues its air strikes and blocks food, fuel, and medical supplies. Shown: A Palestinian father holds his son in what used to be their home in Gaza, March 15, 2024. Credit: UNRWA

The case of Gaza demonstrates most clearly the murderous intent. Israeli wanna-be dictator Bibi Netanyahu seized upon the horrific terror attack of October 7 as the rationale for the ethnic cleansing of the entire population of Gaza, a crime known as “collective punishment” and a violation of the 1948 Convention on Genocide. This will not make Israel safer or more secure, nor will it bring back the lives of those killed on October 7, but merely inflames the region and puts the world at risk of wider war, while endangering the lives of the hostages, whom Netanyahu clearly considers expendable.

After giving 1.9 million people in northern Gaza 24 hours to evacuate, Israel leveled the area, leaving virtually no building, school, mosque, church nor even hospital undamaged. As people fled to the south, they were bombed en route, and while that occurred, food, water, and energy were cut off. All of this has been carefully documented in the case presented by South Africa at the International Court of Justice.

Now over 30,000 Palestinian people are dead, including over 12,000 children. Thousands more are yet unidentified, buried under the rubble, and 70,000 others are injured with no resources to receive care. Over 90% of the 2.3 million residents of Gaza are now homeless and starving, while hundreds of trucks carrying desperately needed food and medical supplies are barred from entering by the Israel Defense Forces, and the airstrikes continue. The United States vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution calling for a ceasefire for the third time, and then blocked the condemnation of the massacre of starving northern Gaza residents who were trying to get flour from two trucks that were finally allowed in. Over 100 Palestinians were killed and 800 were wounded in what is now known as the “Flour Massacre.”

In 1845–51, the Irish experience with the British Empire was similar, including the refusal to distribute food that was readily available.

As we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by eating, let us remember and act on behalf of the millions who have none. Every death from hunger is a death that could have been easily prevented.

The United States once had a revolution against the murderous British Empire, and we were right! Never forget that! Let’s turn our swords into plowshares and end hunger everywhere in the world, including right here in Syracuse, N.Y.