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The Price of Hunger

June 23, 2008, The Los Angeles Times, The Price of Hunger, editorial.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board poses the question, "What would it really cost to end global hunger? The United Nations estimates that it would take at least $30 billion per year to solve the food crisis, mainly by boosting agricultural productivity in the developing world. Over the decade that it would take to make sustainable improvements in the lives of the 862 million undernourished people, that amounts to $300 billion. Three hundred billion dollars is a lot of money, and the U.S. government won't foot the bill alone. But it's less than half of 1% of the world's combined gross domestic products, not an unreasonable sum to invest in ending the misery and degradation of hunger. After all, Congress shelled out $21 billion last year for foreign aid and this week it approved $162 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal 2009. The U.S. spent $340 billion in 2006 alone on public and private research and development. Directing just one-tenth of that seed money to sustainable, high-yield agriculture in the developing world could trigger a second Green Revolution."

The Los Angeles Times, The Price of Hunger

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