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What We’re Reading: “The Silent Crisis” and Violence in Mozambique

By Opportunity International

In light of last week’s riots in Mozambique in which 13 people were killed, this post entitled “The Silent Crisis,” published on Opportunity Australia’s blog more than two weeks ago, has even more resonance.

This prescient blog posthighlighted the concerns over food security and increases in food prices for economically marginalized people living in extreme poverty all over the developing world, including in India, the Philippines and a number of African nations. The blog reported:

Global food prices increased by an average of 43% between 2007 and 2008, according to the International Monetary Fund. During this period, food most commonly consumed by those in developing countries – including wheat, soybeans, corn and rice – saw the greatest price rises globally, with wheat prices increasing by a staggering 146%. [...] At the household level, increasing food prices have the greatest effect on underprivileged and food-insecure populations.

Mozambique’s food price increases, exacerbated by a reduction in food imports, including wheat from Russia, led to the food riots and looting. Last week, Sizwe Pamla of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union in South Africa told Financial Times online: “Too many workers are living from hand to mouth; the costs for poor people are skyrocketing.” 

Pamla’s words underscore the blog’s assertion that “[aid in a crisis] needs to be supplemented with a long-term solution to prepare those in greatest need for the predicted inflation in food prices.” In a country where 70% of the population live below the poverty line and more than half live on less than $1 a day, there is even greater need forhttp://www.opportunity.org/our-work/where-we-work/microfinance-in-africa/microfinance-in-mozambique/Opportunity Mozambique[/intlink]‘s microfinance services to empower Mozambicans to create an economically stable future for themselves and their communities.

Read “The Silent Crisis” on Opportunity Australia‘s blog, full of information about food sustainability and security, and share your thoughts about the recent violence in Mozambique in the comment field below.

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