With breaking news about new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) coming out of China, questions arise again about how this disease is transmitted and what can be done to prevent future outbreaks. While the Chinese government has heightened disease detection efforts and increased prevention, control, and communications efforts in response to the recently reported cases, a strong global response is also necessary to control the spread of this disease.
Effective policymaking relies on sound knowledge. Knowing what works and what doesn't, who the target population is and what they need, and what the situation is really like "on the ground" is crucial to ensuring that policies and programs have the desired impacts. But all too often, critical information is out of date, difficult to locate and access, or even nonexistent.
The March issue of the FAO Monthly News Report was released today. The report covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies. This month's report includes articles on shipments of Argentine corn to the United States, India's wheat production policies, and dry weather impacting South African maize crops.
In 2003, African leaders met in Maputo, Mozambique to try and stem the tide of Africa's long-standing hunger crisis. The need was critical - with Ethiopia experiencing widespread famine and drought threatening harvests throughout central and eastern Africa, the continent's food security challenges were becoming more daunting by the day.
Today marks the 20th annual World Water Day, an event centered on increasing recognition of the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of the world’s freshwater resources. This year’s World Water Day is dedicated to the theme of international water cooperation and is coordinated by UNESCO in collaboration with UNECE and UNDESA on behalf of UN-Water.
2012 was a year of challenges for the global food system, from severe drought in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the United States to ongoing conflict in Central Africa to political stalemates over the end of distortionary agricultural subsidies in the US and EU. As 2013 begins, global food security continues to be in a vulnerable position, with 870 million people hungry and 2 billion people poorly nourished.
The latest FAO Food Price Index, released last week, was unchanged from January levels, remaining steady at 210 points. This is five points lower than the levels seen in February 2012. The Cereals Price Index and Oils/Fats Price Index remained generally steady as well, experiencing a 1 percent drop and 0.4 percent rise, respectively. The slight decline seen for cereals is due mainly to improved wheat and maize prospects in the US.
Cross-posted from IFPRI.org
By: Marcia MacNeil
The great hope that rose from the Arab awakening is being continually tested—not only by ongoing political unrest, but also by lesser known forces: volatile food prices and supplies, and grinding poverty. Translating hope to better lives rests on effective policy—and effective policy rests on access to adequate and accurate information, also in scarce supply in the region. For instance, only around half of the region’s countries make poverty figures publicly available, and the frequency and accuracy of those figures varies widely.
The latest GIEWS Global Food Price Monitor, released on Monday, cites slight declines in export prices for international wheat and maize in January. The benchmark US wheat price dropped 3 percent from December, largely on lower US exports and large supplies of wheat feed on the international market. Wheat's decline was somewhat limited, however, by continued drought conditions in the US and a weakening dollar. According to the report, domestic wheat prices in both importing and exporting countries remains high.
Cross-posted from University of Bonn's Center for Development Research
Summary of the international expert consultation organized by the Center for Development Research (ZEF) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) held at ZEF in Bonn, Germany on January 31 and February 1, 2013.
By Joachim von Braun (ZEF) and Maximo Torero (IFPRI)