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FAMINE has spread to three new regions of Somalia, including the capital Mogadishu and the world's largest camp for displaced people, the United Nations says. In Washington, a US senator warned the catastrophe could be worse than Ethiopia's 1980s famine that claimed nearly 1 million lives, and criticised the international community for its inadequate response.
''Famine is now present,'' said Grainne Moloney, head of the UN Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit for Somalia. ''The three areas are the Afgoye corridor IDP settlement, the Mogadishu IDP community … and in the Balaad and Adale districts of Middle Shabelle.''
' What we saw in Doolow (Somalia) and more particularly in Mogadishu (Somali capital) was very high rates of malnutrition. ' There is a lot of children very badly nourished and so badly nourished that they were at risk of death. I'm talking about children that were maybe two years of age but weighed just five or six kilos.'
The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (FAO 2002, p.9). The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income to purchase, enough food.
Technological capacity to produce enough to satisfy everyone's needs already exists globally and has done so for many decades. Yet needs continue to remain unmet on a massive scale. Why? Quite simply because scarcity is a functional requirement of capitalism itself.
Although its original concession of March 14, 1925, cove- red all of Iraq, the Iraq Petroleum Co., under the owner- ship of BP (23.75%), Shell (23.75%), CFP [of France] (23.75%), Exxon (11.85%), Mobil (11.85%), and [Calouste] Gulbenkian (5.0%), limited its production to fields constituting only one-half of 1 percent of the country's total area. During the Great Depression, the world was awash with oil and greater output from Iraq would simply have driven the price down to even lower levels.