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The Party of European Socialists (PES) : Don't forget the food crisis!

Date

12 Nov 2008

Sections

EU Priorities 2020

Don't forget the food crisis!

11 November 2008

PES Development Ministers and Opposition Spokespersons and MEPs, meeting in Brussels ahead of the EU Development Ministers Council, expressed their concern at the alarming speed that the global food crisis is escalating. While the financial crisis is headline news, the food crisis threatens another 100 million people in the world’s poorest countries.

It is feared that some 100 million people will join the existing 850 million people suffering from hunger. Some 22 countries, including Eritrea, Niger, Comoros, Haiti and Liberia are especially vulnerable to the effects of food price rises.

The problem is not food production – since the 1960s world population has doubled while food production has tripled. The simple truth is that many people are so poor they cannot afford food at today’s  prices.   

Among the actions proposed by the PES to solve the food crisis are:

- An intensification of EU food security diplomacy, including efforts to persuade major oil-producing companies to contribute more to food aid.

- An EU task force to assess the impacts of rising food prices and food shortages

- EU investment in agricultural productivity in developing countries

- EU action to curb financial market speculation on food prices – it is immoral and obscene to profit from hunger

- Work to ensure that agro-fuel production is not at the expense of meeting the demand for food to feed the hungry

- Strengthening social protection systems in regions suffering hunger

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