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On Hunger in Saint Pierre and Miquelon

Hunger in Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Pierre and Miquelon is a self-governing archipelago of France that resides near the Newfoundland and Labrador province of Canada. It is currently the only part of New France that remains under French control. Hunger in Saint Pierre and Miquelon is mainly attributed to climate change and overfishing.

Fishing on both commercial and local scales provides 41 percent of the population’s income. During U.S. Prohibition in the 1920s, the islands became a popular spot for rumrunners to import alcohol into the United States. Business was so successful that men quit their jobs to work on producing alcohol. As soon as Prohibition ended, the economy of Saint Pierre and Miquelon started suffering.

As of August 2017, the standard of living in Saint Pierre and Miquelon is already quite small in comparison to Paris. Additionally, it is also small in comparison with any territory or country. Although Saint Pierre and Miquelon has a low standard of living, they also import more than 95.35 million euros, mostly in clothing and meats.

The low cost of living in a way helps the people with access to very affordable fruits and vegetables. Some can cost less than one euro per pound. This low cost contributes to the lack of hunger in Saint Pierre and Miquelon because healthy food is readily available to them. Most only earn a monthly salary of 1,400 euros, with 0.92 euros being equivalent to one U.S. dollar.

In 2008, the unemployment rates were 9.9 percent, contributing to a rise in poverty and ultimately hunger in Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The fluctuation in fishing profits directly influences the standard of living. The inhabitants have earned their income through the fishing trade, both domestically and internationally, which contributed to their economy and dinner plates. This economy, however, has been declining due to disputes with Canada over fishing quotas, and the use of overfishing.

Although France subsidizes Saint Pierre and Miquelon to the great benefit of living standards, the current living standards remain quite low. An average monthly salary in Paris is over 2,000 euros, which contributes to their high standard of living and low poverty, along with a large number of profits from tourism.

Through the islands, rich smuggling history and many sights to visit, Saint Pierre and Miquelon could thrive with a successful tourist industry that might counteract the effects of the fishing economy decreasing. With a boost to the economy, hunger in Saint Pierre and Miquelon, as well as the unemployment, could be improved upon while creating a higher standard of living.

Stefanie Podosek

Photo: Flickr