Committee on World Food Security CFS

global food security crisis, a UN project – in all 6 UN languages

… The primary aim of the Task Force is to promote a unified response to the challenge of achieving global food security, including by facilitating the creation of a prioritized plan of action and coordinating its implementation … (full text about).

english Homepage;
Structure, functions; Countries; Documents; News; Progress report; Events; Links; see also: UN’s Global Food Security Crisis, Taskforce; Addresses: Via Paolo di Dono 44, 00142 Rome, Italy; / Villa La Pelouse, Palais Des Nations, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland; / 2 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY; USA;
Contacts (scroll down).

Background /The Global Food Security Crisis:  … The extraordinary rise of global food prices in early 2008 posed a major threat to global food and nutrition security and caused a host of humanitarian, human rights, socio-economic, environmental, developmental, political and security-related consequences.  

In particular, it presented challenges for low income food deficit countries, and severely affected the world’s most vulnerable. It threatened to reverse critical gains made toward reducing poverty and hunger as outlined in the Millennium Development Goals MDGs.

The soaring prices stemmed from the cumulative effects of long-term trends, like the increasing demand of food due to the growing world population and a decline in agricultural investment, more immediate supply and demand dynamics, including those related to the rapidly increasing oil prices and diversions of maize to ethanol production, and responses like hoarding which exacerbated price volatility. Altogether, the crisis exposed underlying structural problems in the food systems of poorer countries, partly linked to serious distortions in world food markets (associated with production subsidies in rich countries and trade tariffs), that predispose to price spikes and problems with food availability. Climate-related events like droughts, floods and environmental degradation have further negative effects on many developing countries.

Already before the rapid rise in food prices, some 854 million people worldwide were estimated to be undernourished. It is estimated that the current crisis has increased the number to more than one billion undernourished people in the world.

While food prices on world markets have come down in the fall of 2008, the average levels are still higher in 2009 than they were two years ago. At the same time, lower prices on global markets have not fed through to lower prices on local markets within many developing countries. Prices are likely to rise again, and to stay volatile for a while. The global economic downturn has further increased the hardships of the most vulnerable as both formal and informal economies contracted, trade volumes declined, and remittances decreased.

The High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis HLTF: … (full text).

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