• Successful global agricultural trade hinges on open, secure agricultural markets. Such markets provide risk management by allowing for inter-regional diversification of crops and food products and by reducing price differences through market integration. In other words, secure, well-functioning markets can balance one country’s food deficit with another’s surplus, and vice versa. In this way, global trade can support global price stability and food security.

  • With the world's population predicted to reach 9 billion people by the year 2050, issues related to global food security have taken on a growing urgency. Rising commodities prices, adverse weather events, increased use of biofuels, global and domestic trade policies, and shifting consumption patterns in the developing world will all come into play as the world's population grows. Developing appropriate policies to address such challenges is critical to improving and maintaining global food security.

  • The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) has released a food security alert for East Africa, stating that the region’s current food security crisis is likely to worsen due to below-average rainfall forecasts for March-May, 2011. Rising food prices and declining household purchasing power in areas of Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya have pushed levels of acute malnutrition above emergency thresholds in these regions. The worst-case scenario predicts rainfalls of less than 50 percent of average in the coming six months.

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  • Global policymakers were faced with a stark reality when food prices rose for the eighth consecutive month in February. In addition to affecting global markets, such increases can have complex and widely varied impacts on agricultural markets at the country level. A new policy analysis tool from the Food Security Portal can help to estimate and analyze these domestic impacts.

  • The FAO Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS) has released a food security brief for North Africa, citing regional unrest and rising global commodities prices as the rationale for a WFP-led emergency food aid operation. The report discusses the production and import/export situation in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.

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