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Business Words in the News
Friday 07 March 2003
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Malawian child
Effects of food subsidies on Africa
Summary: The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has asked the world's richest countries to stop giving financial help to their farmers. If they do, they may help to prevent famine in Africa. Mr Annan said that governments had to deal with the other reasons for famine as well as the lack of food itself.
This report from Yousef Anani:

   
The News Listen  
  Mr Annan told the group of the world's eight richest nations that their food subsidies - which total three hundred billion dollars a year - were stifling agricultural production in Africa. He said the lack of sustainable food production was contributing to severe shortages which threatened more than thirty million Africans with starvation.

Developing countries struggle to sell their produce to highly protected markets like Japan and the European Union because they don't enjoy the kind of subsidies that allow those countries' farmers to sell food more cheaply. To add insult to injury, they also have to contend with cheap imports from the same rich countries into their own markets, leaving them without any livelihood. Mr Annan said the way that agricultural trade was structured was just as responsible for famine in Africa as the lack of food itself.

 
   
The Words Listen
 
  subsidies
money from a government or authority to help an industry, for example farming, or to provide cheaper goods for the public – in this case, food

 
   
  stifling
stopping something from continuing

 
   
  lack of
if something is not available, there’s a lack of it

 
   
  sustainable
something that can be continued at the same or similar level – in this case, producing food

 
   
  shortages
not enough of something – in this case food

 
   
  highly protected markets
certain areas of business that are financially well protected by their governments

 
   
  To add insult to injury
To make a difficult situation even more difficult

 
   
  to contend with
to deal with something that’s difficult

 
   
  livelihood
a way of earning money for everyday needs

 
   
  famine
a serious shortage of food that might cause many deaths in a country

 
   
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