Monday, August 01, 2005

Niger famine - the free market - oil

http://www.guardian.co.uk/famine/story/0,12128,1540214,00.html

An article in the Guardian 1 August 2005, points out that the starvation in Niger is not the inevitable consequence of poverty, or simply the fault of locusts or drought.

"It is also the result of a belief that the free market can solve the problems of one of the world's poorest countries.

"The price of grain has skyrocketed; a 100kg bag of millet, the staple grain, costs around 8,000 to 12,000 West African francs (around £13) last year but now costs more than 22,000 francs (£25). According to Washington-based analysts the Famine Early Warning System Network (Fewsnet), drought and pests have only had a "modest impact" on grain production in Niger.

"The last harvest was only 11% below the five-yearly average. Prices have been rising also because traders in Niger have been exporting grain to wealthier neighbouring countries, including Nigeria and Ghana."

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http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/

"Niger's Tuareg leader Mano Dayak was killed in a suspicious plane crash in Niger...

"Dayak was engaged in peace negotiations with the central Niger government and was on his way to Niamey when the plane crashed.

"However, an autonomous Tuareg government threatened to undermine the plans of Exxon and other U.S. oil companies and mineral miners to have a free hand in exploiting oil and mineral resources around Lake Chad, along the Chadian-Nigerien border."

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