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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid