Hindus have expressed serious concerns at the recent historic rise in global food prices. Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that one sixth of all humanity was already suffering from hunger and these price hikes would further deteriorate the situation. About 1.2 billion people were reportedly living below the poverty line of $1.25 a day and in many countries, prices of cooking oil, fruits, vegetables, meats, etc., continued to rise, Zed added.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that United Nations (UN) and other world organizations should urgently come up with solutions regarding this serious issue of hikes in the prices of food staples, which some fear would continue to rise given the global conditions. World’s poor spent most of their income on food.
According to World Bank, global food prices are 36 percent above their levels a year ago and remain volatile, pushing people deeper into poverty. “More poor people are suffering and more people could become poor because of high and volatile food prices,” World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick adds.
A World Bank release argues: A further 10 percent increase in global prices could drive an additional 10 million people below the $1.25 extreme poverty line. A 30 percent price hike could lead to 34 million more poor. This is in addition to the 44 million people who have been driven into poverty since last June as a result of the spikes.
Rajan Zed also demanded that UN should declare access to adequate food a fundamental human right. It was immoral and ungodly for the world to watch one sixth of all humanity suffering from hunger day after day and not come up with a permanent solution.
Zed pointed out that it was unfortunate that instead of decreasing, numbers of hungry were increasing, and the number of malnourished was roughly now over one billion. Besides governments and private sector, religions should also join hands on this issue, which was a social and moral blight on all of us.
World needed to dramatically change its lifestyle and thinking and leaving greed aside, it should take care of its vulnerable populations, Rajan Zed added.
The World Bank, established in 1944 and headquartered in Washington DC (USA), claims to be a “vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world”.