Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why People Go Hungry

I was determined to look for a story with a fun theme today after linking to some mega-serious stories so far this week (starvation, war, hurricanes). But I can't ignore Michael Wines' story in today's New York Times. I've lauded Wines' work from Africa before for the depth of his reporting and the vividness of his writing. What makes "Zambia's Plight Goes Begging in Year of Disasters" especially impressive is how clearly he links mass hunger to international bureaucracy and the decisions made in donor countries. He tells us how the U.N. is cutting basic food rations to tens of thousands of war refugees because the developed world did not respond to requests for help, partly because of donor fatigue after a year of humanitarian disasters. This is explanatory journalism at its best.


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