Jean Ziegler, the Swiss eminence grise of anti-war/globalization activities for several decades now, gave a passionate speech against underdevelopment and hunger last Saturday in Berlin, characterizing the present situation which sees a child dying from starvation and diseases every 5 minutes, and a famine toll of 23,000 humans daily worldwide, as "murder." Among those to be held responsible for that, are the 10 agro-multis that control 85 percent of the food supply of the world, having no interest in secured nutrition for mankind but only in shareholder value, Ziegler charged.
Ziegler's description of the situation in the Sahel Zone in Africa can be taken as an indirect call for the Transaqua program: the farmers in Africa, he said, are as industrious as their colleagues in Europe, but they lack the basic infrastructure and technical equipment which allows the European farmers to produce 10,000 kilograms of crops per hectare, whereas in the Sahel, maximally 500 kilograms are produced. No roads, no water, no fertilizer. If ever any profit is made from the Sahel products, it is not re-invested but used for paying the debt. Land-grabbing is another disaster, taking away 41 million hectares of arable lands from the Africans, and yet another disaster are bio-fuels, which Ziegler denounced as a "crime against humanity."
But now, Ziegler charged, African conditions are coming to Europe: in Spain, 2.2 million children are undernourished — —an effect of the EU austerity policies, and 55 percent of the Spanish teachers bring food to the schools to feed their pupils, a phenomenon also observed in Germany, where children of Hartz IV program recipients are in a similar situation.