With the ongoing spikes of food prices around the world, United Nations agencies have raised fears of a repeat of the 2007-2008 world food crisis.
To address this fear of another world food crises, of UN Food and Agriculture Organization, UN World Food Programme(WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)today called for coordinated international action to prevent rising food prices from hurting tens of millions of people over the coming months globally.
FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva,WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousins, and the President of IFAD Kanayo F. Nwanze stressed that to prevent a food crisis it is necessary to address both immediate and long-term issues.
In the short-term issues, the officials noted that there must be a coordinated and comprehensive response by food producers to deal with spikes in food prices.
“Countries must avoid panic buying and refrain from imposing export restrictions which, while temporarily helping some consumers at home, are generally inefficient and make life difficult for everyone else.” – UN officials
In the long-term issues, the officials also stressed that policies should address issues such as the increasing global population and climate change.
In addition, the officials also highlighted the role that smallholder farmers play in ensuring food security. They stressed that supporting smallholder agriculture will ensure vulnerable populations have access to food.
UN also reports that high food prices are likely to continue and possible increase over the next decade.
A UN report produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP) – says that crises, such as the food crisis several years ago and the current one in the Horn of Africa, “are challenging our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by half in 2015.”
There were an estimated 925 million hungry people in the world in 2010, as compared to 850 during the period from 2006-2008, according to FAO. No estimates have been produced for 2011 since the agency is currently revising the methodology it uses for calculating the prevalence of hunger.