There is a silent plague affecting over 820 million people in developing countries, nearly 127 million of which are children.
In this year alone, it will claim over 10 million lives.
This plague is hunger. And its effects are growing.
In the last three years, food prices have jumped by 83 percent, according to World Bank estimates.
On April 22, Josette Sheeran, director of the World Food Program, a U.N. agency created to fight hunger through voluntary donations, warned of a “silent tsunami of hunger” sweeping the world’s poorest nations — powered by rising fuel prices — and requested extra aid from wealthy nations to the tune of $500 million dollars to help fund the organizations programs.
President Bush, understanding the crisis, was more than happy to oblige and pledged $200 million dollars in aid to the WFP.
On Tuesday he increased America’s stake in this issue and tacked on $770 million to his $70 billion Iraq war funding bill, $150 million of which will to be put toward programs with local farmers focusing on creating long term solutions to the hunger problem.
What’s more, Bush pledged an increase in food-aid related spending to the tune of $5 billion over the next two years.
For this grand gesture of good will, the Editorial Board would like to offer a rare pat on the back to our embattled president.
As the world’s wealthiest nation, we have the power and the responsibility to put an end to world hunger.
We are pleased to see that the Bush Administration agrees. We hope Congress does, too.