5-Point Action Plan On Food Prices

Published on 18 February 2011

WFP has drawn up a 5-point action plan to help countries to cope with rising food prices and to address the challenges of providing a stable food supply for the most vulnerable populations.

Here are five actions that could help countries to cope with rising food prices and to address the challenges of providing a stable food supply for the most vulnerable populations: 

1. Develop emergency food reserves systems. This can be done by scaling up WFP's existing advance purchase and pre-positioning facilities, allowing access for WFP to national and regional food stocks during crisis, and building up small regional food reserve systems under WFP management.

2 .Scale up social protection safety nets. Such as mother/child nutrition, school meals, and job creation programs – whether food- or cash-based, depending on market conditions – to protect the most vulnerable people.

3. Support smallholder, women farmers. To reduce their vulnerability and help smallholders become a bigger part of the supply solution to food security, including by leveraging local purchases by WFP (P4P) to promote smallholder production and build local market infrastructure.

4. Strengthen commitments made at 2009 Rome summit to exempt humanitarian food from export bans, restrictions or extraordinary taxes. A code of good conduct which explicitly allows exemptions for WFP food purchases.

5. Set up a multilateral mechanism to improve analysis of food prices, production and stocks to support the G20 efforts to enhance transparency of food markets.  

Strategic reserves

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has also recommended setting up food reserves in disaster-prone areas.  In an FT editorial, he said that in places where food crises are likely to recur and transport links are weak, small, pre-positioned strategic reserves would get food to the hungry fast, and probably at lower cost.