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Haiti's Prime Minister Removed

Haiti's Government Collapses Over Hungry Citizens

Yesterday, the world’s economic ministers sat up and took notice of the skyrocketing food prices. They made an attention-getting statement that in their view, the price of food may cause a greater threat to economic and political stability than the current turmoil in capital markets.

Nowhere is that reflected firsthand than in Haiti where over the weekend the price of food was the direct cause of rioting and the collapse of the government. In an almost unanimous vote, Haiti's senators voted to remove Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis. The key reason for Alexis's ouster was his inability to secure lower prices for the millions of starving Haitians who can no longer afford food.

Prior to the recent catastrophic upsurge in food prices, Haiti was already teetering. As Haiti imports almost all its food, since global food prices have risen 40 percent in the past six months it means that prices have nearly doubled in parts of Haiti. This adds grave consequences in a country where 2.4 million people already cannot afford the minimum daily calories recommended by the World Health Organization. To see the human side of the situation,


The food prices set off riots last week in which six people were killed including a Nigerian officer with the UN police force. Although the riots are now quelled for the most part, aid workers fear the violence will continue if nothing is immediately done. One Haitian put a face on the hardship saying, "I hope that one day I'll see rice go back down at least 10 gourdes (26 cents) and I will be able to feed my kids at least two meals a day."

Perhaps fearing a trend in other third world countries, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called for urgent action to tackle soaring global food prices and to also begin creating longer-range solutions to ensure adequate food supplies. President Bush also weighed in today and has has asked senior aides to look into how the United States can help alleviate the problem.

Are you more concerned about the world's food situation than the credit crisis? If you were a Bush senior aide, how would you recommend that the US help?


Join The Conversation
subtleheights subtleheights 9 years
It still baffles me as to why countries in climates that can grow almost anything needs to go hungry.why cant they use nature products as fertilizer get off their lazy butts and get to growing their own food? why cant each individuAL FAMILY BE RESPOSIBLEfor its families welfare until help arrives or someone steps in. and as for their govt, selfish and greedy as always.
ladydaytrippin ladydaytrippin 9 years
How about explaining why Haiti is forced import 40 percent of their food. Explain to everyone how the IMF forces countries to import food rather than have their people eat what is locally grown. There is so much more to the story.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm curious to know what kind of crops can be grown in Haiti? I agree with you Senne that the government has proven to be greedy and selfish, to the detriment of the people. Hopefully the people will overthrow it, and can put better leaders in their place.
Senne Senne 9 years
Haiti has a history of poverty. The so-called leadership of the country has proven to be greedy and selfish. The people suffer at the hands of their own government, if you want to call it that. It seems so similar to the dire needs in Africa as well. It's just horrible. They go without something so basic as food. And don't even get started on their living conditions. Father I pray thee...get the people involved that can make a difference here.
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
I'm more concerned with the food crisis at the moment. Credit issues aren't going to have much steam behind them until the people are healthy and fed. I'm just sad to see that Haiti has to go through so many problems. They deserve our help so much as compared with say, Iraq, where we aren't even supposed to be!
iloveana iloveana 9 years
How about the whole issue of food used as "natural" energy instead of oil?? Its a major problem that this food is wasted when so many people are starving... I really think that we need to rethink our entire understanding of food, the majority of rich countries never eat to merely satisfy hunger, we place way too much emphasis on the emotional benefits of food
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Meanwhile, America deals with child obesity . . .
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
The global economy's turning into a real nightmare. I'm curious what overall inflation numbers look like? It seems like everything is skyrocketing (well, everything but the value of the dollar). Can it all be traced back to friggin oil?! Ugh. We all need to eat. This should have a higher priority or I definitely think we'll start seeing stories like this more often.
stephley stephley 9 years
The 200-million is a good start. I think the Bush Administration is on a real tightrope and I hope it realizes that the best thing we can do to fight terrorism is to help these struggling countries. If the food crisis gets worse, the U.S. is going to be a prime target for blame because of the credit crisis and the war in Iraq driving up oil prices everywhere. The countries in crisis are going to turn anywhere they can to feed their people and we're going to have to be sure we're doing as much as we can or the U.S. could take another serious hit in world standing. It's not a good time to be diverting corn for ethanol production, or to be thinking about invading Iran.
kia kia 9 years
I left Miami recently and a consistent story of NPR there was an issue of getting food imports cleared into the country from the U. S. Private groups in south Florida have been sending staples and it was taking forever to leave Port Everglades and then when it reached Haiti there were delays in getting the food inspected and allowed into the country. So in Haiti there were balast containers of staples rotting in the humid climate while people were going hungry nearby.
lula29 lula29 9 years
I'm sure there will be more food riots in the future. This has been building for some time, with the tortilla protest in Mexico and the pasta protest in Italy. And then Puerto Rico's dairy crisis. It's so sad and I feel like it's just being overlooked by the media. This issue needs to be highlighted and explored so we can all know why we are in such a mess.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 9 years
Apparently Bush's senior aides advised him — he just released $200 million for world wide food aide.
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