The FAO Food Price Index continued to climb for the ninth consecutive month. Food prices rose by 2.4 percent in February to reach the highest levels seen since July 2014.
In recent years, the world has faced continuing food security challenges. The food price spikes of 2007-2008 and 2010-2011 brought lasting impacts in the form of increasingly high food prices and price volatility, overwhelmingly harming the world's poorest producers and consumers. Guarding against price volatility to protect the world's most vulnerable populations will require restructuring global agricultural and financial markets, a need that global leaders are now beginning to recognize and address.
With the price of basic food items on the rise, global policymakers are again faced with the need to protect the world’s most vulnerable populations. Women and young children tend to be most negatively impacted by sharp increases in the price of food. However, while extensive research has been conducted on the causes and consequences of the 2007-08 food price crisis, little of that research has focused specifically on the impact of the crisis on women, and whether the impact differs for women compared to men.
Improving global food security and ending hunger worldwide are daunting tasks, and policymakers striving toward these goals face many obstacles, from changing climate conditions to increasing financial speculation to highly concentrated export markets. These factors and more can contribute to high, and highly volatile, food prices, threatening global food security and causing widespread human suffering.
The ongoing crisis in the Horn of Africa has shown that the challenge of food insecurity is alive and well. The 2011 G20 meetings have paid particular attention to the issues of high food prices, food price volatility, and food insecurity. G20 leaders have involved leading international institutions, such as the FAO, IFAD, WFP, and IFPRI, and have established several action plans to address these important issues.
View a presentation by Maximo Torero (Division Director, Markets, Trade and Institutions Division, IFPRI) on food security and the G20.