Monday, November 9, 2009

But hey, who cares now that we have democracy?

"BAGHDAD, 8 November 2009 (IRIN) - More and more people in Iraq are being affected by food insecurity, a senior official has said.

Reduced domestic agricultural production, inflation, unemployment and a crumbling system of subsidized food distributions have hit poor people the hardest.

“There is still a big percentage of Iraqi people who can’t secure enough food. With unemployment running at 18-20 percent they can’t buy what they need,” said Muna Turki Al-Mousawi, head of the state-run Centre for Market Research and Consumer Protection, adding that about 20 percent of Iraq’s 25 million people live below the poverty line.

Domestic agricultural production - already affected by reduced rainfall - has also been hit by a lack of government support and lax controls on cheap food imports, with which farmers cannot compete in some cases, she said.

On 31 August, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Iraq had its worst cereal harvest in a decade and that its wheat harvest was set to fall to one million tonnes, from an average of 3.5 million tonnes per annum over the past decade. Domestic rice production also fell from an average 500,000 tons a year to an estimated 250,000 tons this year. " (Thanks Marcy and Bessma)

...and that's from a country that used to be self sufficient in food. The invasion and occupation will not be forgotten.

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