In an effort to spur to the “Food First” debate, the Bank has asked the public for suggestions on solutions to the food crisis. Five of these suggestions are being used in a Facebook poll asking fans which idea should be put to experts at the April 15 Open Forum. Out of a total 851 votes, 331 considered the following solution as most important: "Governments should control black markets and fight corruption."
Ideas and questions from across the world have been flooding in through the Bank’s Open Forum website.
For example, Odette from Australia asks, “Do developing countries have the capacity to provide social safety nets for the vulnerable in the event of food price spikes? If so, what form could these social safety nets take?”
Aweeda, from Trinidad and Tobago, says: “It’s time to teach families how to utilize very small spaces to grow many plants/herbs/vegetables. If every family have a small kitchen garden, then half the problem will be solved.”
Voices of people hard hit by high food prices are represented at the Bank’s Spring Meetings this week in an unusual way.
Sixty cardboard cut-outs, shaped as people, stand throughout the Bank’s lobby to draw attention to how the crisis has affected individual lives and communities. The cut-outs, which feature quotes from those affected, are equipped with QR codes, enabling Meetings participants with smartphones to see and share the stories on the World Bank’s Youtube channel.
Badiane N’gonm, of Mauritania, is one who offered her experience: “I have no husband or family. Alone and as a single woman, it was very hard to support myself. I had no job and no income to buy food and other things. Then I learned how to turn a small plot of land into a business.”
For more, watch some of the Bank’s food-related videos. Be sure to join the conversation and put food first.