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 sharp run-up in food prices has triggered riots in several countries and threatened to push millions of people below the poverty line. In this Center for Geoeconomic Studies Working Paper, Karen H. Johnson explains the causes and likely future course of food-price inflation and analyzes the implications for central banks, trade negotiators, and agricultural policy.
The 2008 Food for Peace Act replaced the 1954 legislation Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act and is governed by the Farm Bill. The Food for Peace Act aims to combat world hunger, promote agricultural development and trade, and prevent conflict.
We are now several months into the global food crisis. Food prices have almost doubled in three years, threatening to push 100 million people into absolute poverty, undoing much of the development progress of the past few years. The new hunger has triggered riots from Haiti to Egypt to Ethiopia, threatening political stability; it has conjured up a raft of protectionist policies, threatening globalization. Yet, Sebastian Mallaby argues that the response to this crisis from governments the world over has been lackadaisical or worse.
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.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »