Posts Tagged ‘Department of State’


2007-2008 Food Crisis: Causes, Responses, and Lessons Learned

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By Jameson Spivack

The world food crisis of 2007-2008 caused a substantial rise in the cost of food, especially staple foods such as rice, wheat, and corn. This rise in price had a devastating effect on hungry people in the developing world.

When food prices rise, poor people in developing countries are hurt the most. (Image source: IFPRI)

Between 2005 and 2011, world prices for rice, wheat, and maize rose 102 percent, 115 percent, and 204 percent, respectively, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). With price increases, people with less disposable income must spend a larger percentage of their earnings on essential staple grains, and less on other food and non-food items. This can have a significant impact on nutrition.

In seven Latin American countries, this increase in price led to an average 8 percent decrease in the amount of calories consumed. Before the crisis, 35 percent of households in Ecuador received an adequate amount of calories; afterwards, only 22 percent were receiving healthy levels of calories. In developing countries, if prices rise 50 percent across the board, and there is no rise in income, iron intake will decrease by 30 percent, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). In the Philippines, this 30 percent decrease in iron consumption would mean that only 5 percent of women have adequate levels of iron.



2011 World Food Prize Laureates Announced

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By Supriya Kumar

At a ceremony held today in Washington, D.C., two former presidents were announced as recipients of the 2011 World Food Prize for their roles in creating and implementing government policies to alleviate hunger and poverty in their countries. For the first time in the World Food Prize’s 25-year history, the prize has been awarded to two former heads of state – the former president of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor and the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The 2011 World Food Prize Laureates John Kufuor and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (Photo Credit: WFP)

World Food Prize President, Kenneth M. Quinn, made the announcement, stating that the organization recognized the importance of political leaders in the global fight against hunger.  He said that both recipients had set “powerful examples” for other leaders in the world. Under President Kufuor’s presidency, Ghana became the first-sub-Saharan African country to cut in half its proportion of people suffering from hunger and poverty, and achieving the number one UN Millennium Development Goal. And, under president Silva’s policies, 93 percent of children and 82 percent of adults in Brazil can now eat three meals a day.