Authors: Klaus von Grebmer, Marie T. Ruel, and Purnima Menon
As the world approaches the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals--which include a goal of reducing the proportion of hungry people by half--the 2010 Global Hunger Index offers a useful multidimensional overview of global hunger.
With one billion people already going hungry and the world's population rising, global food production must urgently be increased. But Africa can manage this surge -- if it finally uses the seeds, fertilizers, and irrigation methods common everywhere else.
CFR Senior Fellow Laurie Garrett says President Barack Obama's agriculture development and food security initiative holds promise, but it must focus on how to assist women, who are responsible for the majority of agricultural work in Africa.
Many countries are reducing or ending fuel subsidies in the face of high fuel costs and the spreading financial crisis. Though the cuts may prove unpopular, some experts say they could help ease global oil demand.
Rising food prices offer the United States an opportunity to wean farmers off lavish subsidies. However, as David Victor argues in this Newsweek article, the U.S Congress has been doing just the opposite by passing legislation that will heap even more cash on farmers.
We, Heads of State, Government and International and Regional Organizations convened in L'Aquila, remain deeply concerned about global food security, the impact of the global financial and economic crisis and last year's spike in food prices on the countries least able to respond to increased hunger and poverty. While the prices of food commodities have decreased since their peak of 2008, they remain high in historical terms and volatile. The combined effect of longstanding underinvestment in agriculture and food security, price trends and the economic crisis have led to increased hunger and poverty in developing countries, plunging more than a further 100 million people into extreme poverty and jeopardising the progress achieved so far in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The number of people suffering from hunger and poverty now exceeds 1 billion.
Michael Gerson argues that despite rising food prices, the U.S. government has the ability to practically end hunger within its borders. And while there may be many explanations for why it has not already done so—there are no excuses.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
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