As the Bank reported earlier this week, global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions of poor people around the world. Rising prices have pushed an estimated 44 million people into poverty since last June.
The World Region
Otaviano Canuto writes about the Food Price Watch today on the the Growth and Crisis blog.
“According to the World Bank’s Food Price Watch, a brief just released tracking food prices and poverty trends, global food prices are 36% above their levels a year ago and remain volatile, close to their 2008 peak. Key staples going through the roof include maize (74%), wheat (69%), soybeans (36%) and sugar (21%)...For some of us, expensive food might mean we spend more money in the supermarket, but for millions of people around the world, it is a real threat. The poor spend most of their money on food. So think about Mexicans, whose daily diet includes a good amount of tortillas. Or a family in Mauritania trying to get enough bread amid the 40% wheat price increase of the last year.”
Antonio Lambino writes about the release of the Results App (available for iPhone) today on the CommGap Blog.
"Dubbed “Results at a Glance”, the app was created to help members of the international development community – including CSOs, NGOs, and donors—advocate for development issues by featuring more than 450 results stories from over 85 countries," he writes.
Read more of Antonio's blog post. Learn more about the Results iPhone app.
The World Bank has a clear vision: A world free of poverty. When integrity prevails, projects deliver and the poor benefit. When they fail, development is set back and the poor suffer. That‘s why at the World Bank, we take the position that Rule of Law equals Development. In the Bank’s pursuit of results, openness and accountability, we assert integrity in our operations, without reservation. At the heart of our strategy is a commitment to remove the conditions that dent international security and make corruption flourish.
The World Bank has just published its annual World Development Report, something it has been doing for more than three decades. [Disclosure: this economist has been contributing comments to early drafts of the WDR for the past 20 years.] The new volume is about security and development. It says that societies are constantly under internal and external “stresses”—think corruption, youth unemployment, racial discrimination, religious competition, foreign invasion, and international terrorism.
Nigel Roberts, co-director of the World Development Report 2011, blogs on the report’s release today over on the Bank's Conflict and Development blog. "We’ve estimated that 1.5 billion people live in areas experiencing or threatened by organized violence; that’s roughly a quarter of the world’s population," he writes.
>WDR Webcast and Panel Discussions: April 14
>World Development Report
Today we begin blog coverage of the 2011 World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, set for April 15-17. Though we’re two weeks out, activities around the meetings’ key themes—food insecurity and food price volatility, conflict, anti-corruption and open development—are already ramping up.
Among the events and announcements we’ll report on here:
Our villages are bread baskets – the primary region where most of the world's food is grown. Ironically, they are also home to many of the 1 billion who live in chronic hunger.
In a World Water Day ceremony, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and World Bank President Robert Zoellick signed an agreement to leverage World Bank and U.S. government agency expertise and technology to promote greater water security in an increasingly water-insecure world.