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If we want to eradicate poverty, we need gender equality.

In May, the FAO Food Price Index reached its highest level since October 2017. This month’s increase was driven by dairy and cereal prices. The Index has risen continually in 2018.

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The FAO Food Price Index remained nearly unchanged in April; however, cereal and dairy prices continued to rise.

The Cereal Price Index rose 1.7 percent from March, reaching almost 16 percent higher than its April 2017 levels. This is the fourth consecutive month of such increases, which are being driven largely by weather-related fears for wheat and maize and government purchases in Indonesia and the Philippines for rice.

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Global wheat and maize prices rose for the third consecutive month in March, according to the latest FPMA Bulletin from FAO. This increase brings prices more than 10 percent above their December 2017 levels.

Prolonged dry weather in the United States drove much of the price increases for wheat, as did concerns about cold and wet weather in some parts of Europe. Dry weather in Argentina contributed to maize price increases. Global demand for these commodities also remained strong in March, further driving up prices.

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The FAO Food Price Index rose by 1.1 percent in March, marking the second consecutive month of increases. Cereal and dairy prices drove the price increase, while the prices of sugar and vegetable oils fell slightly. The Index for March 2018 is 0.7 percent above its year-earlier level.

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By Shenggen Fan
This piece was originally published on the GlobalDev blog.

The world’s urgent humanitarian assistance needs continued to grow in 2017, according to the 2018 Global Report on Food Crises. An estimated 124 million people across 51 countries currently face crisis-level or worse food insecurity, up from 104 million people across 48 countries in 2016.

Photo Credit: Jamed Falik/IFPRI

The world will continue to face major challenges from political and economic uncertainty, conflict, and climate change in 2018 and beyond, and the rising trend of anti-globalization in some developed countries could hamper the ability of policymakers to respond to these challenges. The result could be slowed progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and food and nutrition security, especially in developing countries.

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Argentine President Mauricio Macri has said that his country will place development, fairness, and sustainability at the forefront of this year’s G20 agenda, setting the theme of the Argentina G20 Presidency as “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development.” Experts recently gathered at IFPRI for a roundtable discussion on what these themes mean for food production systems, food security, and nutrition.

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The latest version of FAO’s Monthly Report on Food Price Trends (FPMA) was recently released. The February report shows global cereal prices have increased overall since the start of 2018.