Thursday, August 04, 2005

Niger and the Free Market

The Globe and Mail had an article yesterday on how the government and the UN held back distributing food to those vulnerable from the famine because they believed that the free market would naturally work to feed the community. Unfortunately, these institutions must have forgotten the whole concept of supply and demand as demand increases with limited supply of food, the price rises. The price of food in Niger has increased enough that few disadvantaged people are able to afford a small meal for their child while the food stalls next door remain abundant with food. After the recent worldly publicized famine, finally food was subsidized or distributed. Allowing markets to run steady the path of business is possible but perhaps not in the case of emergency relief.

Updated: Aug 6: New vivid images of the poverty in Niger from the New York Times.

1 comment:

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