The problem of high and volatile food prices that have driven 44 million people in to poverty in recent months was debated at the World Bank’s Open Forum – a two-hour webcast event on the food crisis incorporating feedback from 3,000 participants in a 24-hour chat and more than 500 suggestions and comments that flooded in from people in 91 countries before the event.
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.
Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, visited the World Bank yesterday to deliver a lecture on "Structural Change and Economic Growth."
The Bank's Merrell Tuck-Primdahl has a nice summary of the speech and a video chat with Rodrik over on the Let's Talk Development blog.
- Dani Rodrik
As we head into Spring Meetings in Washington, Sierra Leone is very much in my thoughts, because it is a country that faces many serious challenges—especially those relating to the survival of women and children—and because I’ve just returned from there, and have seen firsthand some of the efforts that are being made to turn this situation around.
This was an opportunity to look at human development in Sierra Leone through the lens of our
In a blog post by Molly Norris and Joshua Powell for the End Poverty in South Asia blog, they talk about Bangladesh as "ground zero" at the intersection of climate change and food security.
"The country is widely recognized as one of the places most vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate, which strains food systems alongside rapidly growing and urbanizing populations. Yet, despite these dual challenges, the World Bank expects Bangladesh will meet its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015," they write.
Speaking this morning at the Spring Meetings opening press conference, Bank President Robert Zoellick said high and volatile food prices continue to threaten the world's poor.
Already, 44 million people have fallen into poverty since June last year. “If the Food Price Index rises by just another 10%, we estimate that another 10 million people will fall into extreme poverty where people live on less than $1.25 a day,” Zoellick said. “The world can do something about this.”
Today Benoît Bosquet writes about Jane Goodall's visit to the World Bank earlier this week.
"When Jane Goodall spoke Tuesday at the World Bank, she said she had recently begun to understand the exciting potential value of REDD – reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. For decades, Dr. Goodall and others have been fighting for the conservation of forests to preserve and protect animal habitat– in the case of Dr. Goodall, that of chimpanzees in Tanzania. And now, many people like Jane Goodall are making the connection between this battle and the fight against climate change," he writes.
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.