Mortality rates for children under age five have declined in Africa south of the Sahara since 2000, thanks to a better prevention of malaria, a greater share of births in medical centers, improved antenatal care, access to clean water and sanitation facilities, and increasing levels of income. However, a recent released report shows that the hunger level in Africa remains at an “alarming” level in Africa.
October 16 is World Food Day.
This blog was originally posted on IFPRI.org
By Ashley St. Thomas
About one in eight people worldwide suffered from chronic hunger during the past two years, according to the United Nations. Though daunting, that ratio is an improvement over previous years. In fact, the 2013 Global Hunger Index report released Monday shows that global hunger levels have declined by nearly 35 percent since 1990.
FAO recently released its 2013 State of Food Security in the World report. This annual report looks at the number and location of people suffering from chronic hunger around the globe, and provides analysis of how different policies can be used to target different regions and populations.
Global trade policies have the potential to significantly impact food security, for better or for worse. With the ninth WTO Ministerial Conference upcoming in Bali in December, some developing country leaders are pressing negotiators to keep this connection in mind and fast-track talks on proposed changes that would give developing countries greater flexibility in following the new WTO agricultural trade rules.
The latest FAO Food Price Index, released Thursday, continued to fall in September, down 2.3 points below August and a full 11 points from the beginning of the year. This marks the fifth consecutive decrease.
The Cereals Price Index dropped 12.9 points from August and as much as 65 points from September 2012. The decline reflects a favorable supply outlook, particularly for maize and rice. The Oils/Fats Price Index remained unchanged from August. The Dairy, Meat, and Sugar Indices all rose slightly in September.
The latest FEWS Net Monthly Price Watch was released today, reporting considerable declines in the price of wheat and maize in the past few months. Between June and August, monthly average international maize prices dropped significantly due to improved harvest prospects in the United States; current harvest prospects suggest that prices may drop even further in the coming months. Global maize stocks are also projected to rise to their highest levels in nearly a decade.
The WTO Doha Development Round trade negotiations have been at an impasse since their launch in 2001, and have gotten particularly bogged down over the difficult technical and political aspects of agricultural trade reform. Further complicating the talks is the fact that the global economic, trade, and geopolitical context has changed significantly since the Doha Round was launched.
The latest USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate (WASDE) report was released today. The WASDE report provides monthly comprehensive forecasts of supply and demand for major U.S. and global crops, supplied by the USDA. Crops covered include wheat, coarse grains, rice, and oilseeds. This report can explain past and current global commodities trends, as well as predict trends for the coming year. This month's report cites higher global wheat supplies and record wheat production for 2013-2014.
This blog story by IFPRI senior researchers Alan de Brauw and Dan Gilligan was originally posted on The Guardian’s Global Development Professionals Network.