Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Recipe for Hope Week #4

Week Four of Bread for the World's "Recipe for Hope" campaign. Read about an aspect of the current food crisis (Ingredient for Despair) and find out how to take action in a positive way (Recipe for Hope)
Ingredient for Despair: Government Subsidies for Farmers

Farmers in the United States, Japan, and the European Union receive government subsidies which often encourage overproduction and distort prices. They may even give farmers incentives that run entirely contrary to common sense.

For example, current commodity programs create an incentive for farmers to grow cotton in desert states like Arizona, where water for irrigation is scarce. In turn, artificially low prices for this subsidized cotton can prevent farmers in poor countries, such as Mali and Burkina Faso, from selling their cotton crops for a fair price and being able to feed their families. Subsidies to farmers in developed countries also hinder development of agriculture in poor countries, exacerbating the growing world food crisis.

Bread for the World Institute discusses this issue in detail in chapter three of its annual hunger report, Healthy Food, Farms & Families: Hunger 2007

Ingredients for Hope:

Our Recipe for Hope has two components—something you can do; and something you can say to our nation’s leaders.

Watch, rate, and forward this YouTube video.
This one-minute piece is a great way to help spread the word about getting involved in the fight against the global hunger crisis. As you watch and rate videos on YouTube, they attract the attention of more people. So spread the word!

Call your senators:
Call your senators and ask them to cosponsor the Global Poverty Act (S. 2433). Use this special toll-free number, and ask to be transferred to your senator's office: 1-800-826-3688. Find out who your senators are.

Talking Points:
We can make sure that our assistance has the greatest impact on the people who need it the most by improving the effectiveness of our development programs.

-Trade policies of the U.S. government often undercut our efforts to help hungry and poor people around the world provide for their families.

-The Global Poverty Act can help prevent situations like the current hunger crisis by requiring a coordinated strategy across the U.S. government to cut extreme poverty in half by 2015.

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