As of January 1st the Ford administration had yet to make its decision regarding the amount of food to be sent to the starving nations in fiscal year 1975. Literally the fate of millions of persons faced with starvation throughout the globe will be determined by these decisions.
Mr. S. A. Marei, Secretary-General of the World Food Conference, stated at its conclusion: "Despite our resolution, a large number of people face starvation.''
Just how large that number is and will be depends directly on what actions the food-rich nations, and especially the United States, take in the months ahead. Unfortunately, the callous indecisiveness to date of our government in responding to the scourge of hunger offers little solace to the world's starving millions.
And experts in Rome estimated that in the next 8 months half a billion people throughout the world are faced with starvation or malnutrition unless additional relief reaches them.
When I first brought up the question of immediate food aid to Secretary Earl Butz at the initial meetings of the U.S. delegation to the World Food Conference, I was totally stunned by his response. The Secretary attempted to dismiss the issue by stating that when the Conference was planned last spring, its purpose was to deal with long-range questions. But the grim, desperate plight faced by the world's starving multitudes this November was not foreseen last spring. The fact that the World Food Conference occurred when the stark proportions of current famine had suddenly become more evident should have been seized as a providential opportunity to mobilize global resources for halting the rampage of starvation. Contending that the World Food Conference should not have focused unduly on those who are now dying from hunger is like urging firemen to ignore blazing cities in favor of discussions about future fire prevention.