Who will suffer the most with the global financial meltdown?

10 Oct

As governments around the world worry about the domestic impact of the financial meltdown from the West, those likely to suffer the most are the ones history tends to forget.

According to the UN World Food Program (WFP), more than 2 million people are in need of assistance in Zimbabwe. This figure will increase to 5.1 or 45% of the population by January next year when the fund runs out. The agency needs another US$140 million to provide for the humanitarian crisis in the country until next April.

According to WFP, the Horn of Africa is at a critical stage where droughts have hit hard at farmers and their crops. In Ethiopia, 9 million are in need of assistance from the programe though rations have been reduced to a third because of shortage of resources. In Somalia, number of people needing humanitarian assistance increased to 3.245 million. In Karamoja region of Uganda, WFP could only provide for 100,000 of the 707,000 who needs food aid in July due to lack of contributions and increase in food prices. And the list goes on.

As the Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, current chairman of the African Union remarked in an AFP report, ‘AU chairman worried financial crisis could curb aid to Africa’, the current global credit crunch may cause the developed countries to reduce aid. Hunger and poverty-related issues has also been excaerbated by skyrocketing food and fuel prices.

Nevertheless, UN secretary general, Mr Ban Ki Moon has said that the world’s poorest can count on the organisation even as the world faces a financial crisis: ‘Banks may be failing. But the world’s bottom billion can bank on us’. This is because world leaders have pledged a total of 16 billion towards the projects for African development needs and the Millennium Development Goals. Of course, the issue is whether these promises will materialise… …

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