Monday, August 25, 2008

Food Crisis Hits North Bengal

Global food insecurity, high food prices, inconsistent monsoon over the last five years, failure of agriculture, rampant poverty and illiteracy, and high migration in search of manual non-agricultural labour, has left all the three districts of Malda, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur facing a severe food crisis. (In a recent report, eight districts in West Bengal have been declared food insecure districts.) This means, more than one million people out of over eight million people in these three districts alone go without two meals in a day, and out of this, over 100,000 people go without even a single meal!

This crisis needs to be challenged and responded to. Few organizations met in the office of Catholic Relief Services in Kolkata on 21 August to discuss the situation, and have planned to prepare a working paper in the coming months. Puthumai A. Nazarene represented Social Welfare Institute at the meeting. Meanwhile the crisis is snow-balling into a humanitarian crisis. All generous people and organizations are requested to respond to this food crisis that has hit the poor.

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