Food Out of Reach: A Timeline
Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN's World Food Programme, tells the Financial Times that she expects 2009 to be at least as challenging as last year: "We are not seeing an alleviation of the hunger pressure," she tells the FT on a story published 26 January.
Slide 2 of 11 | To many, the global economic squeeze may seem to have started exerting real force locally only recently. But the fundamentals behind the crisis and, at times, high food prices, have their origins near the turn of this century.
Slide 3 of 11 | As Alex Evans, Fellow with NYU's Center for International Cooperation writes in his new paper, "The Feeding of the Nine Billion" -- published by Chatham House -- the seminal depreciation of the US dollar has been under way for almost a decade.
Slide 4 of 11 | United Nations and governmental officials gathering early in 2009 in Madrid for a meeting on food security point out that although the fuel prices that spiked steeply in mid-2008 have subsided, there now are close to 1 billion people in the world without adequate nourishment.
Slide 5 of 11 | Looking ahead to 2009 figures, the Financial Times reports on 26 January that "since December, wheat prices have risen 15 percent, corn 17 percent and soyabean 22 percent. In contrast with other raw materials such as oil or aluminium, which have plunged back to the levels of 2002-2005, agricultural commodities are trading higher than they were 12 to 18 months ago."
Slide 6 of 11 | "We must not forget places with no streets" while focusing on Wall Street, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran tells a special ministerial-level gathering of officials from 95 countries in Madrid on 26 January 2009. Developing countries dependent on agriculture, Sheeran says, run the risk of getting left out as many people concentrate on struggling stock markets.
Slide 7 of 11 | Spain, hosting the 26-27 January 2009 meetings on food security in its capital, has promised US$500 million in agricultural and food aid in the following four years, according to Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos. The Associated Press reports that Spain says it has so far disbursed about half that.
Slide 8 of 11 | WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran notes that among effects of the global financial crisis on world hunger is a downturn in remittances to poor countries such as Haiti. Globally, the flow of remittances slowed in the third quarter of 2008 and is expected to deepen in 2009.
Slide 9 of 11 | In a report on the Madrid food security meeting published 26 January 2009, China's Xinhua news agency reminds readers, "In the World Food Summit in 1996, when there were an estimated 830 million hungry people, governments pledged to halve the number by 2015, but in (the) midst of a terrible food crisis today, te figure of hungry people has risen."
Slide 10 of 11 | In a report from the Madrid food security conference on 26 January 2009, Agence-France Presse quotes World Bank Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as saying in a statement, "Food prices are now volatile and that factor, combined with the impact of the financial crisis, only serves to heighten the challenges confronting the developing world."