The United Nations acknowledged it on Thursday (Aug. 9): Global food prices surged in July and are expected to rise further. This could put people already facing food insecurity in even more vulnerable positions.
Corn prices, in particular, soared more than 23 percent due to the U.S. drought while wheat rose 19 percent because of poor crop expectations in Russia, the Food and Agriculture Organization said in its latest monthly price report. Global food prices for rice and dairy were mostly unchanged while those for meat declined.
This price hike is likely to have a devastating impact on development countries that depend on food imports, Oxfam International said. These include Yemen and parts of North Africa and Latin America. Humanitarian agencies are also expected to feel the effects of this price spike, which Oxfam said would inevitably put additional strain on the groups’ already overstretched resources.
As Devex has reported, the World Food Program, for instance, will be unable to purchase the same amount of food supplies at a time when millions of people in the Sahel and other drought-stricken or conflict-afflicted regions rely on it for food aid.
Here’s what Oxfam is proposing the international community can do to stem a further rise in food prices:
Eliminate biofuel subsidies.
End land grabs.
Invest in small-scale farmers.
Agree and adopt a binding agreement on climate change.
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