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FAO, IFAD and WFP Call for Action to Avert Global Food Crisis

4 September 2012: In response to increases in maize, wheat and soybean prices similar in magnitude to those seen during the 2007-2008 world food crisis, the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO), the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have issued a joint statement calling for urgent action to avert global price shocks. 

Recalling that the 2007-2008 word food crisis was particularly severe in Asia and Africa, the joint statement calls for swift international action to avert a repeat of such events. It highlights that the urban and rural poor and people in food import-dependent countries as particularly vulnerable.

In the joint statement, the Heads of the Rome-based institutions point out, however, that many more tools are now available to avert a food crisis compared to 2007-2008. They stress that one major challenge will be addressing increasing losses from floods, droughts and other extreme weather events. The statement acknowledges the need to climate-proof food systems in order to avoid escalating costs. The authors also draw a link between food prices and biofuels, citing recommendations that biofuel mandates should be adjusted depending on threats to food supplies.

Overall, the statement emphasizes the importance of building a sustainable global food system, focusing on achieving improvements in sustainable production in poor, food-importing countries. [FAO Press Release] [IFAD Press Release] [UN Press Release]