Global food crisis worsens says Oxfam
London, May 31, 2011
UK charity Oxfam, warning that food demand will have jumped by 70 percent by 2050, said soaring food prices and weather and financial shocks had aggravated the hunger crisis and that the global food economy was broken.
'The food system is pretty well bust in the world,' Oxfam chief executive Barbara Stocking told reporters, announcing the launch of the Grow campaign as 925 million people go hungry every day.
'All the signs are that the number of people going hungry is going up,' Stocking said. Hunger was worsening due to rising food price inflation and oil price hikes, scrambles for land and water, and creeping climate change.
'Now we have entered an age of growing crisis, of shock piled upon shock: vertiginous food price spikes and oil price hikes, devastating weather events, financial meltdowns and global contagion,' Oxfam said in a report.
Entitled 'Growing a Better Future: Food Justice in a Resource-Constrained World,' the report said: 'The scale of the challenge is unprecedented, but so is the prize: a sustainable future in which everyone has enough to eat.'
Oxfam believes one way to tame food price inflation is to limit speculation in agricultural commodity futures markets. It also opposed support for using food as the feedstock for biofuels.
'Financial speculation must be regulated, and support dismantled for biofuels that displace food,' it said.
Stocking said she favoured the introduction by regulators of position limits in agricultural commodities futures trading, noting that financial speculation aggravated price volatility.
The report said: 'The vast imbalance in public investment in agriculture must be righted, redirecting the billions now being ploughed into unsustainable industrial farming in rich countries towards meeting the needs of small-scale food producers in developing countries.'
The report said the failure of the food system flowed from failures of government to regulate and to invest, which meant that companies, interest groups and elites had been able to plunder resources.
'Now the major powers, the old and the new, must cooperate, not compete, to share resources, build resilience, and tackle climate change,' it said.
'The economic crisis means that we have moved decisively beyond the era of the G8, when a few rich country governments tried to craft global solutions by and for themselves.'
'The governments of poorer nations must also have a seat at the table, for they are on the front lines of climate change, where many of the battles -- over land, water, and food -- are being fought.' - Reuters
More Miscellaneous Stories
- Girl, 9, dies after fall from 8th floor in Abu Dhabi
- Lebanese café brand opens Dubai outlet
- Bahrain poultry firm told to step up safety
- Customer dies in Bahrain cafe brawl
- Bahraini boys hurt while planting bombs
- Philips, Ericsson launch LED street lighting
- DuBiotech to set up first Halal safety lab
- Jotun to supply coatings for Makkah Station
- Raytheon wins $655m Kuwait Patriot deal
- Alwaleed Foundation lights up 3 Saudi villages
- Poultry farms strike may trigger shortages in Bahrain
- Oman seals Victoria food security pact
- Saudi woman, 80, donates $133m to charity
- New Saudi clamp on energy drinks
- Outrage follows Bahrain killer bomb
- Improvised explosive device used in Bahrain attack
- 3 policemen killed in Bahrain blast
- Dammam-Al Ahsa train service starts
- Egypt wheat supplies enough to last until June
- Expat killed at Saudi workers' holding facility
- 80 global speakers for Doha summit on family
- Restaurant runs up $47,555 phone bill in 4 days
- NZ minister to visit Gulf states
- Public-private tie-ups ‘vital for agri growth’
- China firm wins solar power project in Amman
- 15,000 attend Bahrain garden show
- Omani firms shine at top food expo
- Bahrain to set up national food company
- Dozens hurt in gas leak at plant near Doha
- Twelve dead in Qatar restaurant gas explosion