Food Crisis to be discussed in Rome Next Week
Jacques Diouf, the head of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), called a global summit late in 2007 to provide an opportunity for world leaders to discuss the food crisis. Reuters reports today that Diouf asserts that "It's time for action." Diouf noted that "[the hunger crisis] is not an issue like HIV/AIDS where you need some research breakthrough. People know what to do."
Reuters affirms that a combination of factors, including poor harvests, low stocks, and rising demand have combined to produce rises in food commodity prices - a highly unanticipated event. A recent report from the FAO notes that food prices will remain high over the next ten years, even if modest decline occurs. Currently, there are 850 million people in the world suffering from hunger, and this crisis expects to push 100 million more people into hunger and food insecurity.
As the World Bank pledges $1.2 Billion in loans and grant financing to combat this crisis, delegates from 151 countries will gather in Rome from Tuesday to Thursday of next week to discuss poverty and hunger-related issues. However, Rueters notes that underlying issues including free trade, biofuels, and genetically modified organisms will reveal divisions among countries during this event.
Josette Sheeran, head of the World Food Program (based in Rome) stated that the crisis should be seen as "a wake up call to act now to defeat the plague of hunger once and for all."
As these world leaders meet to discuss the crisis, you can engage in the discussion with your faith community by joining Bread for the World's Recipe for Hope campaign. By signing up here, you will have access to educational resources as well as opportunities to engage your church, school group, family, and friends in discussions that seek to inspire your elected officials to act on behalf of the hungry and poor in the world. If you would like more information on legislation and opportunities to respond to the rise in global food prices, contact your local Bread for the World office.
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