News / Africa

Clinton: Global Food Shortages, Rising Prices Threaten Destabilization

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech on food security and nutrition at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, May 6, 2011.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gives a speech on food security and nutrition at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, May 6, 2011.
Sabina Castelfranco

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned on Friday that global shortages of food and spiraling prices threaten widespread destabilization.  She spoke at the Rome headquarters of the United Nations food agency.

Clinton urged immediate action to forestall a repeat of the 2007 and 2008 crisis that led to riots in dozens of countries around the developing world.

Speaking at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, she said urgent steps are needed to hold down costs and boost agricultural production as food prices continue to rise.

"The FAO food price index reached an all-time high in February," said Clinton.  "Yesterday's update showed little decrease.  The World Bank estimates that 44 million people have been pushed into poverty, since just last June, because of rising food prices."

Clinton said the situation is not yet as dire as it was four years ago, but warned that the consequences of inaction would be grave.

"We must act now, effectively and cooperatively, to blunt the negative impact of rising food prices and protect people and communities," she added.

She called for countries to adopt better policies this time around and said the United States is working with developing and industrialized nations to encourage everyone to respond to rising food prices not with failed policies of the past but with a sounder approach.

Clinton said more attention should be paid to improving seed quality to boost agricultural production, as well as educating farmers on the best practices and encouraging governments to prevent food hoarding.

The U.S. secretary of state said countries should share information about food production and stocks, and resist the temptation of imposing export bans no matter how attractive they may appear to be.  She added that she is well aware such measures are difficult to sell politically given budget cuts.

But she stressed that everyone must do their utmost and work together to find the best ways for markets to work more efficiently and deliver results.

FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf thanked Clinton for raising the issue.  He said the FAO, backed by the Group of 20 leading emerging and wealthy countries, is working on a series of studies about how to better manage the risks associated with food price volatility.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs