Monday, 11 August 2008

Sudan exports food as we send them ours!

If we needed more evidence for the insanity of our African aid policies - we don't - this takes the biscuit (no pun intended).

The New York Times tells us that “even as it receives a billion pounds of free food from international donors, Sudan is growing and selling vast quantities of its own crops to other countries, capitalizing on high global food prices.

But how much of this bonanza is getting back to the hungry Sudanese, like the 2.5 million driven into camps in Darfur? And why is a country that exports so many of its own crops receiving more free food than anywhere else in the world, especially when the Sudanese government is blamed for creating the crisis in the first place?"

[I can help you there, NYT. Because we’re fucking fools, that's why]

"But here in Sudan, there seem to be plenty of calories to go around. The country is already growing wheat for Saudi Arabia, sorghum for camels in the United Arab Emirates and vine-ripened tomatoes for the Jordanian Army. Now the government is plowing $5 billion into new agribusiness projects, many of them to produce food for export.

Take sorghum, a staple of the Sudanese diet, typically eaten in flat, spongy bread. Last year, the United States government, as part of its response to the emergency in Darfur, shipped in 283,000 tons of sorghum, at high cost, from as far away as Houston. Oddly enough, that is about the same amount that Sudan exported!

This year, Sudanese companies, including many that are linked to the government in Khartoum, are on track to ship out twice that amount, even as the United Nations is being forced to cut rations to Darfur. United Nations officials in Sudan say that the fact that they have to import some of the same commodities that Sudan not only produces but exports is a source of constant frustration."

Ok, you can shoot me now.


Anonymous said...

what dopes we are! are we all mad!

Anonymous said...

No reason to shoot you at all! Good blog post, the more people know about this stuff the more that can be done about it.

Its disgusting to think some of these crop growers life lavish lifestyles and drive past the starvation on a regular basis.

Anonymous said...

There might be some consolation in us getting screwed by them if it kept them where they are. But the fact is they're more or less automatically granted asylum in any European country they turn up in.

Anonymous said...

Poison the sorghum and see if the Sudanese die or if foreigners die. I'm guessing it will be the foreigners cause business minds would look to save on packaging.

Anonymous said...

VERY cynical, that!