Worldwide strikes and protests set to continue as food prices rise

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 14th April 2008

As the price of food continues to rise protests have been becoming more prevalent. While few major protests have been held so far there is growing concern that continued rises will cause greater social unrest and political leaders in many Asian countries, particularly Myanmar, Thailand, China and the Philippines, are under immense pressure.

In Argentina, where the urban population is significantly greater than the rural population, the Government sought to increase tariffs on grain exporters to try to appease public concern over increasing food prices. This forced a backlash from Argentinian farmers who consequently cut their supply of food as a form of protest. The protest has been suspended for talks between both parties to take place but farmers are still threatening to further restrict agricultural shipments if the tax is not abolished.

Haiti has already seen violence result from food protests with last week’s riot killing four and injuring 20. With global food and fuel prices rising by about 55% since June protests have also been witnessed in Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, Mozambique and Senegal and unless something is done about the food crisis riots will be seen in more countries. The crisis is such a concern that the Robert Zoellick, head of the World Bank, believes 100 million people could be pushed deeper into poverty.