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

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid