TOP OF THE AGENDA: Global Food Crisis
From the Council on Foreign Relations
Food shortages and skyrocketing prices are putting pressure on many of the world’s poorest nations. The Wall Street Journal reports that at spring meetings of policymakers from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, some assigned partial blame to U.S. biofuels policies. The meetings produced “few concrete results” on the way forward. World Bank President Robert Zoellick is calling for a “New Deal on Global Food Policy.” and said the bank plans to double agricultural lending to sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, street riots have broken out across Latin America (Miami Herald), and in Haiti, where the prime minister was ousted from office on Saturday after protests against rising food prices ground the country to a halt (NYT). East Asia is also feeling pinched, with many countries limiting exports—particularly of rice—to meet domestic demand (ISN Security Watch). The Philippines has called for an emergency regional meeting to discuss the region’s food crisis (Bloomberg).
A recent CFR.org Podcast examines what the next U.S. president should do about global food prices."