American Relief of Famine in Europe

August 6, 1940

Report Outline
Possibility of Famine Conditions Next Winter
Relief Agencies During the World War
Famine in Soviet Russia, 1919–1923
European Production and Consumption of Food

Possibility of Famine Conditions Next Winter

Ftamine is not expected to reach such proportions in continental Europe next winter that there will be insufficient food to keep civilian populations from actual starvation. This year's crops of wheat and rye will probably be about 15 per cent below normal, but that does not necessarily threaten a serious shortage. The United States Department of Agriculture said at the end of July:

If 1940 crops and stocks already on hand were to be proportionately distributed, there would be no abnormal shortage of food and certainly no widespread starvation,…But communications have been disrupted, distribution disorganized, and people in great numbers have left their homes. In the larger cities of the recently invaded countries and in other areas where refugees are gathered, food supplies may soon be inadequate. Even where food supplies are for sale economic dislocation leaves many without the money to buy. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that the armies of occupation will subsist largely if not wholly on the supplies of the invaded countries.

Secretary Wallace has pointed out that the United States has ample surpluses of agricultural products to meet any European shortage. The danger of famine, therefore, comes only from the possibility that the available food cannot or will not be evenly distributed, while the British blockade prevents countries under German control from receiving overseas aid.

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