News / Africa

G8 Warned of Pending Food Crisis

G8 Warned of Pending Food Crisis
G8 Warned of Pending Food Crisis

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

G8 leaders are being called on to make stronger ties with Africa a top priority at their meeting in Deauville, France, especially regarding food security and poverty reduction. The International Food Policy Research Institute [IFPRI] warned of another food crisis unless action is taken.

“For the last decade or so, the partnership between Africa and the development agencies or the development partners, has been strengthened significantly. But I think there’s still room to improve. In particular, the G8 countries should really, really think seriously to meet the commitments they have made before,” said Shenggen Fan, IFPRI director general.

It could happen again

At the L’Aquila summit in Italy in 2009, G8 leaders pledged to take action to deal with the food crisis, which saw prices rise and supplies fall. The conditions triggered riots in a number of countries in 2007 and 2008.

Fan said, “When the G8 met in Italy, they committed $22 billion to support smallholder agriculture in developing countries, particularly Africa. Today, that commitment is still there [but] they have not met much of the commitment yet.”

He warned the world is poised to have another food crisis, unless the pledge is paid in full.

“I think it’s already coming. In the last 10 months, the wheat price has increased by a hundred percent. Maize price has also increased by 100%. In addition, prices for meat, dairy products have also increased,” he said.

Feeling the effects

When food prices increase many poor, not only just the consumers, but also even producers, suffer,” he said, and added, “If it happens again, we will probably lose the progress we have made in the last decade or so.”

He warned women and children are the most vulnerable to volatile prices and markets. Hunger and malnutrition, he said, can permanently damage a child’s brain development. “We need to fix this problem.”

He rejected the idea of spending cutbacks on agriculture because of the global recession.

“Agriculture is so critical in terms of hunger reduction, poverty reduction and also in terms of future growth. If we do not invest in agriculture…more people will suffer from hunger and poverty,” he said.

MDGs

The U.N. Millennium Development Goals are due to be achieved in 2015. The goals cover a wide range of issues, including poverty, hunger and health. Fan said the $22 billion in promised agricultural investment would help in reaching those goals.

“I think $22 billion is a good start, but it’s definitely not sufficient. More resources are required. And more importantly, these resources have to be spent more efficiently to achieve certain development goals by improving policies, governance, management and institutions,” he said.

IFPRI reported African countries have taken the initiative to improve their agricultural sector.

“They have made progress in the last decade or so. Many countries have increased their spending in agriculture. We have seen some successes in many parts of Africa. Agriculture growth is accelerating, but we need to continue to do that,” said Fan.

G8 leaders meet May 26 and 27.

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

Video 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