Letter: Hungry children

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The Independent Culture
Hungry children

Sir: You report (15 October) the award of the Nobel Prize in economics to Amartya Sen.There could be no more chilling reminder of the relevance of his work on famines than your headlines in the same issue, "The poor of Britain are going hungry" and "No idea what the bairns will get for tea".

Sen has argued that starvation and malnutrition are not necessarily caused by shortages of food, but often by an inability of the poor to buy food on affordable terms.There is no overall shortage of food in Britain today and for children to go hungry is neither morally acceptable nor economically inevitable.

SIMON CLARK

Department of Economics

University of Edinburgh

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