PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

MA Relief Group Fighting 'Perfect Storm' of Hunger

April 30, 2008

Cambridge, MA - Relief organizations say a "perfect storm" of factors has caused food prices to skyrocket worldwide. They say droughts, bans on exports, and higher fuel prices are just some of what's caused riots and starvation in places like Haiti. The UN says the poorest countries can expect price increases of more than 50 percent.

Penny Anderson is the food security director at Mercy Corps, which has offices in Cambridge. She says the storm was visible on the horizon, but it moved a lot quicker than anyone expected.

"It has been coming for a number of years, and people have seen it coming. I don't think anybody saw the speed with which it was really going to hit a critical mass."

Anderson says Afghanistan is a good example; wheat prices there have risen more than 80 percent in the last year.

Mercy Corps has set up a "Global Food Crisis Fund" to raise money to help people deal with the price of food.
Anderson says it will help people buy food immediately by paying them to engage in public projects in cash-for-work programs, and also help them provide for themselves in the future.

"On the one hand, we're addressing the very short-term problems. If they start doing this cash-for-work program, they can feed their family that night. But at the same time, we're going to help them have a harvest."

She says she expects food prices to be up for years to come.

Kevin Clay/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - MA