The Middle East’s Looming Hunger Crisis

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There are several reasons for the recent record food price increases worldwide. Fires and bad weather that produced low harvest yields caused important grain-exporting countries like Russia and Ukraine to suspend exports. Australia, another large grain producer, also experienced a bad year due to floods. In the United States, due to subsidies, 40 percent of the corn harvest, America’s biggest crop, now goes to making ethanol fuel for cars, leaving less available for food.

Another reason why poor third world countries like Egypt, Yemen and Syria are being priced out of the international food markets is that Asian countries like China and India now possess prosperous middle classes, numbering in the hundreds of millions, who are capable of buying better quality foods, like wheat and meat, which drives world prices upwards. China especially has the foreign currency to buy grains on the international markets to make up for any shortfalls in its own agricultural production.

Due to an expected harsh setback regarding its winter wheat crop, China, normally self-sufficient in food production, is expected to do just that, which will make the Middle East’s desperate food situation even more desperate.  Already this year, China bought one million tons of corn from America in March, “the sixth-largest single purchase ever.” But last February, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced “12.75 million acres of China’s 35 million acres of wheat fields had been affected by the drought.” The full extent of the disaster will be known by June. If China then goes shopping on the international markets for grains to feed its one billion citizens, as expected, people in the Middle East will be eating less than they are now.

The political implications of the world food crisis on poor countries are beginning to be recognised. Earlier this month at the FAO’s Rome headquarters, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said inaction would have “grave” consequences.

“We must act now, effectively and cooperatively, to blunt the negative impact of rising food prices and protect the people and communities,” Clinton said.

In a plea to countries not to cut grain exports, Clinton cited 2008 when record food prices caused riots in several third world countries. Then, it was large rice producers like Thailand, India and Vietnam who suspended exports “to protect domestic supplies” that led to the violence and instability.

But the situation was not as bad in 2008 as it is now. World economies were booming then and not stuck in recession. Moreover, the price of rice, relatively stable until now, is also expected to rise this year. Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporter, has announced it will pant only two crops instead of three this year in order to rid the rice plants of “pest and disease.” This constitutes a 20 percent decrease in exports.

“I don’t know whether it is a good policy, as cutting the food supply may lead to food shortages,” a Thai official said.

As for the Middle East, the 2008 food riots are likely to be replicated and will worsen as the hunger crisis deepens. The danger here is that the people may follow any Muslim extremist pied piper, like the Muslim Brotherhood, who promises to feed them, much like the Germans followed the Nazis for giving them work during the Great Depression and Russians followed the Bolsheviks before 1917 Revolution because they were promised bread. This may work in the Muslim Brotherhood’s favour in the short term, especially if they promise the people a just social order like that which allegedly existed at the time of the Prophet Mohammad. But if the religious extremists cannot solve the hunger crisis, then they will also be discredited.

So with no solution to the hunger crisis on the horizon, food riots and instability will become the norm in the Middle East for some time to come. Henry Kissinger once said: “Who controls the food supply, controls the people.” However, in the Middle East’s case, there is no food supply to control, so the people will be uncontrollable.

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  • StephenD

    Well, at least we'll have ethanol and put less pollutants in the air! We do have our priorities you know.

    • Carl

      Unfortunately, ethanol puts MORE pollutants in the air than does even the dirtiest ever diesel. Brought to us by the same idiots who are providing the $20.00 replacements for the trusty 100 watt incandescent bulb…

    • Jim

      Let 'em all starve – makes for less to try to kill us and less we will have to one day kill!

  • crinedel

    Thousands of years ago the Torah, the Jewish bible, (erroneously called the Old Testament by Christians) predicted in Genesis


    “Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Genesis 12:1 & 2).

    “And I will bless them that bless you, and curse them that curse you: and through you shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).

  • The_Lord_Regent

    The christians in egypt are already bleeped. Should Egypt go anymore haywire there might be several million refugees heading for Siani. I recommend that Isreal and christian charities prepare now for the refugee management-preferably contained in the Siani since I doubt there is enough space in Isreal to accomodate a refugee horde.

  • tanstaafl

    This is a simple problem for Islam to solve. Announce the jihad and invade an infidel nation that has food! Kafirs get killed, their food is stolen and Islam is saved! How do you think the faithful survived in the past? If it weren't for the jihad, muslims would be confined to Arabia!

  • jacob

    Egypt truly makes me laugh…

    Doesn't the Old Testament tell us that Joseph saved Egypt from starvation during
    the seven years of drought coming to afflict it ???

    Scientists all over the world warned SADAT against building the ASWAN dam but
    the Russians prevailed and now EGYPT is harvesting what it planted….

    But how come that before, EGYPT was defined in history as a "Gift from the Nile",
    can't they develop planting land with the water of the dam ??

    Israel makes do with dew moisture and EGYPT can't with all the Nile water ????

    Something here makes absolutely no sense at all….

    And with the Muslim Brotherhood waiting in the wings like vultures, much less…

    • Tomko

      As long as they remain consumed by their irrational hatred for Israel, they won't even notice that the're hungry. And they always say they love death more than they love life; food brings life, starvation brings death, where's the problem?

  • dgl

    Egypt and the other governments mentioned here have subsidized food for years, using international aid (read US here). As a result, populations have exploded beyond the resources of the countries to support them. In addition, the lack of education, corrupt government administrators, lack of the means to perform meaningful work means high unemployment, which means more mouths for the government to feed, which they will, continuing the cycle. When the dole stops, you will have vast social upheavals, which will severely shake or sweep away the old governments. The question is: what will replace them? Another authoritarian government which will in time become as bad as the one it replaced?

  • Debanjan Banerjee

    I guess there is only one solution to this problem that we are talking about.

    There are only three countries in the World which has sufficient amount of land as well as a comparatively low number of domestic population to feed upon those lands. The countries in question are the US , Australia and Canada.

    I say that middle eastern and other developing countries send their starving peoples into these three aforementioned countries to cultivate those uncultivated lands. This should also work as a solution to the problem of demographics that these countries are facing.

    • ziontruth

      You, sir, are a Marxist agent of treason. Your suggested policy of having the developed world serve as the dumping ground for the undeveloped world has actually been tried, especially in Western Europe, and its results have been nothing short of disastrous to the indigenes wherever tried.

      It is time for responsibility to take place on the national level as the individual one: Instead of dropping off their problems onto developed states, the undeveloped nations need to take care of their problems on their own. Sink or swim. Borders closed, welded tightly shut so everyone gets the message that the West isn't their garden to foul up.

      Enough of those multicultural debacles. Enough! The state should be its nation's castle or else it is as good as non-existent.

    • gsw

      A much better solution would be the wide-spread use of contraception. Why should the future of Australian, Canadian and US children be destroyed, for 'Lebensraum'?
      No one should give birth to children they cannot feed or educate.

      When a parasite kills the body it feeds upon – it dies.

    • MRobs

      I say let the muslims reap what they have sown. If you are going to spend all day banging your head on the floor with your a$$ up in the air I guess you didn't bother to find the time to pull your stupid selves out of the 7th century and learn how to feed yourselves. Hate to say it but if they starve themselves off less of them for us to kill when they come looking to kill all the infidels.

  • bert

    This is a very important article but I fear it is not getting sufficient attention. I would only add that Egypt is considering a cut off of their gas supplies to Israel. That means while Israel will be hurt Egypt will also lose even more income. Israel will soon replace Egyptian gas from their newly discovered oil and gas fields but Egypt will still be in trouble.

    • Tomko

      Don't forget the Palestinians have those beautiful green houses that Isreal gave them for free. They should feed millions! OH! I forgot, they destroyed them within days after the Israelis withdrew.

      You know what they say: "Give a Palestinian a fish; feed him for a day, Teach a Palestinian to fish, and he'll break the fishing rod"

  • tagalog

    So trade food for greater oil production and lower prices, and everybody's desires are satisfied.

    • Tomko

      Exactly! I remember back in the late 70's when the middle east tried to put the squeeze on oil production. The farmers started to protest the ridiculous petrol prices. Their slogan was "NO CRUDE, NO FOOD". Maybe it's time to bring that slogan back.

  • Shefali

    My heart just goes out to that poor Yemeni woman and the other poor hungry people. It's easy for us to talk, none of us are hungry, or have to hear our kids cry because they are hungry. I cannot imagine. I totally get that Islamic fanaticism is bad and I am against government subsidies and bailouts of other nations, but at the same time, as a human being and a Christian, I feel so sad about the people going hungry. I think we should all be praying for these people, and that private citizens who can help should do so. And we should also ask our government to stop this insane ethanol program!

    • Debanjan Banerjee


      Simply doing prayer while the people starve will not help you on the judgment day. It will be better if you ask your government representative to come into your countries like say the USA , Canada and Australia and settle in those lands.

      These nations have got a lot of land and too few mouths to feed so naturally those are the places where these hungry people should be allowed settled.

      That is both logical as well as moral.

      • North Pole

        I have no idea where you live, but stay the hell out of Canada. Make a change in your own country and STOP crying victim. We Canadians have had it with useless immigrants draining our resources and our tax base. Unlike the noble, hard-working immigrants of the past the lazy, deceitful Muslims, Sikhs and other non-Europeans offer nothing and expect everything. Go away.

        • Tomko

          Exactly! The muslims are purposefully trying to out-populate infidels in order to have the largest Jihad armies. They even claim that their greatest jihad weapons are the wombs of their 4 wives. The problem is they never heard the expression "An Army Marches On It's Stomach". Now they're paying for it.

          Why should we provide the funds, means, and land in order to feed their Jihad armies to assist in our own destruction?

        • vallerence

          "the lazy, deceitful Muslims, Sikhs and other non-Europeans offer nothing and expect everything"

          So European = noble and hard working. Non-European = deceitful free loader?

          You're not anti-Islam. You're just a racist whose getting a free ride from the anti-Islamist movement.

          BTW, Islam and Sikhism are religions, not ethnic or geographic identities (i.e European) you retard

      • ziontruth

        You are generous… with other nations' resources. So it is with Leftists: They castigate the idea that one should own the fruits of his labor as "miserliness," while practicing "generosity" with other people's money.

        A wonderful mindset–lets you be a robber and still keep your harp and angel wings.

      • Gorba

        What you are proposing is insanity. If the USA, Canada & Australia let those people in, they would get fat off other peoples labor, then they would multiply, wage jihad and eventually say that the land was stolen from them.
        Egypt's Nile Delta is the most fertile land on the continent of Africa. If they would truly have peace with Israel, the Israelis would have helped them produce food for the whole of Africa.
        Instead they hate, kill the Coptic Christians and preach hatred.
        Don't suggest the western countries bail everyone out. Why not the new powerful countries like China, Iran, Venezuela, Brazil and Russia. Go ask them for help and see where it gets you.

  • scottabennett

    Have I seen something about this in maybe Revelation:" A measure of wheat for a denarius (one days wage), three measures of barley for a denarius, but do not hurt the oil or the wine." And that is AFTER the tribulation STARTS! This hasn't even begun yet.

    • ogunitracy

      oh, my goodness. I totally didn't make the connection. and here i was thinking it meant scarcity of everything and not just wheat. i guess this is where it starts and Egypt becomes a wasteland as prophesied by the prophets. Oh, well.

  • jewdog

    Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood is taking over Egypt and promises to reopen the conflict with Israel. That's the people's choice, because most Egyptians are total morons.

    • Tomko

      I can just see the war posters "Attack Israel; All You Can Eat For FREE".

      Of coarse, first they have to make it across the Sinai with no food or water, but HEY!

      • ziontruth

        That was the kind of war poster that got most of the Arab settlers in Palestine in 1948 to flee. They were promised not only a return, but the prospect of enjoying the spoils once all the Arab armies had driven the Jews to the sea.

        Essentially, the Nakba is a catastrophe not because the Arab settlers had to flee, but because they were obstructed from returning for the spoils.

  • Melykin

    Doesn't anyone in Egypt or Yemen know about birth control? If Europeans were breeding at the same rate as Muslims they might be poor and starving too. If they continue to have large families that they can't afford to feed then hunger is going to be the result. Why should more responsible countries bail them out–especially in light of the fact that many of the Muslims hate the Christians and Jews and would like to kill us.

    Islam is a train wreck.

    • Tomko

      EVERYTHING that's fun is forbidden in Islam. No music, no sports, no TV, no bowling, no chess, no dancing, etc. The only form of entertainment they have is praying 5 times a day, reading the quran, and sex. Is it any wonder why the populations in islamic countries exceed the ability to sustain them.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Muhammadans are obligated to subsume the world for Islam. Indeed, it is the sole purpose of Islam and using their multiple wives as baby factories to manufacture more jihadis is a manifestation of jihad in the cause of Allah.

  • johnny

    well i always knew this would happen in the future when the oil resources are gone,the fact that it will come sooner does not change my view that they have sown the seeds for their own destruction,first of all they live in an arid desert wasteland and allowed their cities to get over populated,secondly they have spent so much money on military and also on mosques in their efforts to islamify the west with their islamic madness,thirdly they overthrow secular governments and want to replace them with islamists,they will get what they deserve,i have no sympathy for them,let allah curse them as he always has,remember these same people gloat when the west suffers natural disasters,a cull is needed,so let it be

  • Steve

    Why doesn't Allah help them!? They are Allah's chosen ones to rule the world. He should then know that they are starving to death. Is Allah too weak to save them?

  • North Pole

    Agreed. We tolerant Canadians are getting fed up – for real. I work in Adult Education and experience first-hand the sense of entitlement Muslim immigrants have. Couple that with the complete disrespect and disdain they have towards Canadians and our great democracy. Geert Wilders for PM!!

  • DagW

    I'm going to try to leave a link here from last week that includes some of Spengler's article. It's also my comment on this issue in abbreviated form.

  • ferret

    As an Australian I totally agree.

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Very obviously the writer here is an advocate of the political correct myth that Islam is a so-called Religion of Peace™ being hijacked by a tiny minority of extremists. He no doubt also believes that lifting Muhammadans up out of poverty, despair, and hopelessness, via endless Bush fantasy based nation-building missions to win the hearts and minds of Muhammadans who are obligated to hate our unbeliever guts no matter what is the solution. In other words, he doesn’t have the first clue what he is writing about.

  • mike h

    to paraphrase Marie Antoinette, "Let Them Eat Oil!"

  • Spock

    Soylent Green.

  • Nick T

    It's ashame that the poor ignorant people of these countries have depended upon their greedy leaders for their very lives. U.S. financial aid NEVER gets to the people that need it the most.
    As for being Muslims, some (if not all) are forced into the Muslim religion or face death, under Shariah law. As a result, they are brainwashed into thinking all of their problems are the fault of the free world instead of their own leaders.
    Our ethanol program is a farce and needs to be ended. This, in-and-of-itself, will eleviate some of the skyrocketing food prices.
    As a christian, I will pray that God will strike down the worthless & evil leaders of these countries and provide aid to those who are suffering starvation.

    • curmudgeon

      they may be forced to be muslims, but the fact is that they are more than willing to adhere to the religion of crime. as a christian, you can pray in one hand and defecate in the other, and see which hand fills up faster. even if you got your prayer(wish), it would do no good. the striking down of those worthless and evil leaders would change nothing. the entire populations are worthless and evil, and anyone that assumed the control of government would necessarily be worthless and evil too. what we have here is a self correcting problem, if the fools of the west will just watch patiently. if there is one thing the world has more than enough of, it is muslims. allah may be about to correct that surplus.

  • Nick T

    To Debanjan Banerjee – "Making a rich country poor does not help other poor countries." Importing immigrants into the free world will not work! Our job markets, finances, social systems & natural resources cannot support a huge population growth, especially at this time.
    I have a couple of ideas;
    1) research how to grow food in arid climates and become a rich business person growing food in Yemen, Egypt, and other countries.
    2) gather a bunch of investors and buy land in Europe to grow food exclusively for the aforementioned starving countries.

    • ziontruth

      The best idea, the one that Marxists like Banerjee studiously work to suppress, is that everyone should take care of their own.

      • curmudgeon

        are you sure banerjee is a marxist? smells like a muslim to me. i have a better idea for bannerjee. north america and australia should send back all the muslims they have already so foolishly allowed to infest their countries, and never allow another muslim within our borders.

        • ziontruth

          "are you sure banerjee is a marxist? smells like a muslim to me."

          The Muslims rely on the Marxists to provide them with the rhetorical material necessary to finesse their crude true sentiments ("Islam Will Dominate"), so there's no way of telling whether he's a Marxist or a Muslim. And ultimately it doesn't matter–they're on the same side.

  • floyd

    serves them right we pay a bundle for gas they can pay a bundle for food

  • Travis

    As usual Uncle Sam will come to the rescue and will get ingratitude in return.

  • STP

    Now just hold on a damn minute here…. Arabs and Muzzies have rejected modernity for over 1,500 years. They made their bed, I say make em' lie in it. If they starve to death, too bad. The West and the rest of the world needs to stop saving their asses. Why is it that Arab and Muzzie lives are so much more valuable than those of Africans, Asians, Europeans or Latinos? WAKE UP!

  • Michael

    Wasn't Egypt the bread basket of the Roman Empire? They should be able to feed themselves. All nations should. If your nation depends on food imports, you better be extra nice to the people who send that food. I can live without oil longer than you can live without food.

    • rjn

      It takes energy (oil) to produce food.

  • nojizya

    Let them starve. They breed like rabbits and hate the west. No tears will be shed here.

  • generalissimo

    I doubt that hunger would discredit thugs like the muslim brotherhood. They will always blame the West for islam's shortfalls. Such is the way with islam: always diverting the blame away from itself. Assigning guilt is their game, not providing solutions.

  • mario

    well well when are we going to adress overpopulation this is worst form of polution growing plants for bio fuels is what has caused food shortage maybe deliberate to condition arab states for new world order