Hunger Increases in the World - Neoliberal Globalization Fails
The World Bank, the IMF and the WTO Oppose the World Food Organization
Joint Declaration of Attac Austria and Attac Germany
By Attac Austria
[This article is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.attac.de/aktuell/neues_ausgabe.php?print=yes&id=144/]
Vienna - In its new report on world food security, the World Food organization presented alarming data. Since the middle of the nineties, hunger has risen worldwide although the number of starving has clearly declined in China. Altogether the number of hungry persons has increased by 18 million since the middle of the nineties after falling around 37 million in the first half of the nineties.
"That is the most impressive and most painful evidence that neoliberal globalization has failed", as Karin Kublbock from Attac Austria commented on the million-fold human disaster. The policies of the World Bank, the Monetary Fund and the market-opening fundamentalism of the WTO give priority to the interests of multinational corporations and financial creditors, not the poor and starving,: Kublbock said.
All the measures to combat hunger proposed by the World Food organization oppose the goals of the "unholy triad", the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO, according to the opinion of Attac. 1. Increasing the soil productivity in poor rural regions presupposes effective land reforms, interest-free credits and free education for small farmers while neoliberal institutions are focused on corporate profit. 2. Nothing endangers the protection of natural resources more than the development credits of the World Bank and the trade liberalization of the WTO. 3. The WTO stands in the way of expanding and strengthening the infrastructure of countries because the WTO wants to leave the basic infrastructure to multinational corporations that are only interested in the industrial belt. 4. Access to food for the poorest is thwarted by free trade in agriculture - where the best soil is converted to export - and by cancellation of food subsidies - a specialty of the IMF.
"The increasing hunger numbers are a clear danger signal and a call for an urgent change of course in globalization", Kublbock insists. Instead of overhasty market-opening, high interest policy and a Christmas policy for multinational corporations, promoting local development with interest-free credits and investments in free health care, greater subsidies through the Tobin tax, debt remission for the poorest and fair trade are necessary, instead of free trade, Kublbock concluded.