Thursday, May 15, 2008
Rice is Life.
I’m honestly not sure how much the news at home is talking about the rise of food prices around the world, but I want to share with you how the rising food prices are affecting Liberia, and ORR’s work here. As they say in Liberia, “Rice is life”…and that statement is “for true”. Liberia imports 90% of its rice from China, so they are almost completely dependent on the staple food. With the rising food prices around the world, Liberia is already beginning to feel the impact. For example, last Thursday, I bought rice for $28-$29 a bag. By Friday, the price was $32.50 a bag, and on Monday the price was over $36! When we began to hear about the possibility of the price of rice increasing, we bought 60 bags (out of faith because it was not budgeted) for $27/bag. The 60 bags will get us through rainy season for our feeding programs, so we feel well prepared. The problem is that Liberians are not prepared—our staff and neighbors are struggling to buy rice…and some Liberians area already starting to eat alternatives like pasta! Needless to say, it’s not a good situation, and if things do not improve, and if the government doesn’t eventually step in and do something, things are not going to be peaceful. Pray for alternative food sources for the people of Liberia. Pray that the government will make the right decisions concerning food prices and stepping in; otherwise the people are going to suffer. Rainy season already makes it difficult on the country, but if food is going to be so expensive that nobody can afford it, then the situation is going to be bad…I’m not a fan of riots and things.