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Respond to the Global Food Crisis
Contact your local representative

You can use this letter to help millions of the world's poorest people:

Dear (your elected representatives),

More than 850 million people go hungry worldwide. An estimated 1.2 billion people struggle to live on less than a dollar a day.

These numbers are expected to grow sharply if we do not fully respond to rising global food prices.

More aid is needed
I strongly encourage you to support comprehensive legislation to help the world’s poorest. We can provide urgently needed aid through international organizations like the World Food Program (WFP). They help those most effected by rising food prices. With the WFP reporting a $750 million dollar shortfall, these funds are needed now more than ever.

The United States must also continue to fund its own aid initiatives such as the Initiative to End Hunger in Africa and the Millennium Challenge Account. Both of these programs are dedicated to eradicating hunger and helping the poor worldwide. We need to allocate more funds than last year's $1.72 billion for the MCA and $47 million for the IEHA.

We can do far more if we curb the inefficiency and waste that often plagues our humanitarian efforts. Of every dollar spent on aid, roughly 66 percent goes to transportation and administrative costs.

Preventing vs. putting out fires
Another major step to address this growing crisis is to increase our investment in global agricultural development. American government spending on agriculture assistance dropped from 20 percent of total aid in 1980 to three percent in 2006.

To help increase the world’s supply of food, we can invest more in agricultural development. Last year, only $167 million of the $1.2 billion in food aid to Africa was allocated to development projects with the rest for emergency food aid.

This is an example of having to spend too much on endless emergencies because we don’t spend enough on preventing them. It’s easier and more cost-effective to prevent fires rather than wait to put them out.

Problems with ethanol`
Along with these initiatives, it is imperative that the United States re-examines its ethanol policy. This policy allows food -ready crops such as corn to be diverted for automobile fuel. This has a dramatic impact on the global price of food.

It is estimated that as much as 25 percent of the United States’ edible corn crop is diverted to ethanol production. By placing a moratorium on grain based bio-fuels, we can bring the price of corn down as much as 20 percent. It will also cause the price of wheat to drop 10 percent.

Our country needs to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, yet it is essential that we do not implement policies that hurt the poorest among us, both in the United States and around the world.

Comprehensive solutions are needed
I also support a more comprehensive set of development programs as outlined in the Hearts & Minds website: www.change.net/poverty/platform.htm.

We need to act now to end global poverty!

This is very important to me and many others whom I am actively speaking with. I would like to tell everyone to fully support these urgently needed reforms.

Please let me know, when and how you are actively supporting these programs. What specific legislation are you co-sponsoring and when will you bring it out of committee for a vote by the full Congress?

We the people want to know: Will you work with us now to help create a much better world?

Thank you.

Sincerely,

[place your name here]

Put this letter to work:
Easy and Effective Ways to Influence the Press, the Public and Our Elected Representatives

The Global Food Crisis - how rising food prices threaten the world's poorest  |  More on Food - both personal and global

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by Adam Goldberg, Hearts & Minds volunteer, edited by Bill Blackman, president
Copyrights: Entire website 1997 - 2016 by Hearts and Minds Network, Inc. This web page - http://www.heartsandminds.org/food/crisisletter.htm - online August 15, 2008, latest changes September 25, 2008

 

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