Real solutions to the global food crisis

The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation held a summit in Rome this week to focus global attention and action on the food price crisis that is currently hitting the world’s poorest people.

The World Development Movement highlighted the role of unfair trade rules and the rush to biofuels as key contributors to this emergency and called on the EU and US to stop their drive to open developing country markets to their agricultural produce, thereby undermining local farm production.

Benedict Southworth, director of the World Development Movement said:

“The food crisis is hitting poor people hard. This week the FAO’s attention must focus on the root causes of the crisis and long term solutions. A good start would be for the EU and US to stop relying on World Bank funding schemes for agriculture and biotechnology fixes. Instead the EU and US must halt their drive to open poor countries’ markets to their subsidised agricultural goods, which destroys local food production and so creates dependency on foreign imports. The price of these imports is sky-rocketing and as such is a clear contributor to the current global emergency.”

Watch a video here from Antonio Tujan, international director of the IBON Foundation in the Philippines, talking to WDM director Benedict Southworth about how donor aid and trade policies have contributed to the rice crisis in his country.

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The World Development Movement is part of a coalition of over 230 civil society organisations from around the world that have urgently written to the leaders of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organisation. In the letter, we argue that the Doha round of trade talks, as currently proposed, will intensify rather than alleviate the food crisis by making developing countries more dependent on food imports, the prices of which are now sky rocketing. (IBON)

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