The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Capitalism Causes Famine in Niger

Apr 2, 2012

In Niger, more than six million people need immediate aid – or they may starve. Famine stalks the country, according to the U.N. and Oxfam, an international anti-poverty organization.

Families in Niger are forced to cut back on meals; some move to the cities; some go to neighboring countries. There is a shortage of cereal, which makes up 14% of the consumption of 15 million people. The Niger government blames drought and locusts and caterpillars.

But famine affects the whole Sahel area of Africa. People are fearful due to the lack of rain, but the real problem is the high price of food.

It’s not just a natural catastrophe. The Niger people now must pay for the fact that French colonialism imposed the cotton production on them at the expense of food crops. In Niger and in many other African countries, speculators drive up the price of cereals, enriching the financial markets.

Much more than swarms of locusts, the capitalist system causes the people of Africa to suffer, many to die.