Monday, August 20, 2012

The Drought, High Food Prices and the Poor

There was another heat wave in Russia this summer, which will cause wheat exports to drop. There has been record heat and an historic drought in the Midwestern United States. The drought has devastated the corn crop in the U.S. The yield per acre will be the lowest in 17 years. Almost half the corn crop has been destroyed. World food prices are going up. According to an article in, Global Development, "America's worst drought in half a century will push up inflation and put a fresh obstacle in the path of the struggling global economy, one of UK's leading banks has warned."
Who will suffer the most? The poor. Here and abroad. As Christians, we are suppose to love our neighbor and to be compassionate to the poor. Jesus made that clear in His teachings and actions. He identified with the poor and marginalized, "Whatever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do to me..." But according to reports, feeding the poor and helping the poor is going to get more costly. High food prices cause instability in countries (or worse), and hunger, especially in third world countries. Children are at the greatest risk.
The demand for food is rising in the world. Each year new customers for food increase and that is a good thing, as growth continues in developing countries. But with record heat, droughts, flooding and more severe weather this will get more difficult in the future.
Pray. The world needs prayer. The world also needs compassionate action. Practical, intelligent, inspiring ideas are needed, that translate into bold action, to help the helpless. Who will step up to the challenge?

St. Daniel The Stylite
A rich man questioned Daniel, then eighty years old, "As you have been up on that pillar for the past thirty years, what advice can you give me, noble champion?
Daniel answered, "Love your neighbor, especially the poor. Up until today, you have loved no one but yourself. In truth, very little!" (Conversations of the Saints-Words and Wisdom From God's Chosen)