Food prices are down from the record highs of 2008 but they are still out of reach for most in the developing world, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran told British parliamentarians this week.
“We are not out of the woods from last year’s food and fuel crisis,” Sheeran said, adding that affordable access to food is one of the “most urgent peace and stability issues of our time”. Go to WFP's Food Crisis Special
The WFP executive director was invited to testify in parliament as part of its Inquiry into “the UK’s role in tackling the global challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050.”
Sheeran stressed that no one group, nation or organization can meet this challenge alone. “We must work together in a cohesive and integrated way, maximizing every dollar and using best practices and innovative solutions to help the world feed itself,” she said.
One of the ways WFP plans to help improve the international response to food crises is through a global fund that will allow it to secure food stocks in advance rather than buying hurriedly when a crisis hits.
"Keep up food assistance"
The WFP executive director’s visit to parliament was part of a week of hunger-related appointments in London. One of her key messages in meetings and conferences in the British capital was that developed countries should avoid cutting back on food assistance for poorer nations despite the current economic conditions. Listen to BBC radio interview
The UK, which last year contributed just over US$170 million to WFP, announced on Thursday it is contributing an extra US$1 million to tackling global hunger through a commitment to the UN's food security task force.
Speeches at DFID, Chatham House
A year on from the global food crisis, a priority for world leaders is that they keep food security on the agenda at the G8, G20 and other international forums, Sheeran said at a conference on the future of international development organised by Britain's Department For International Development (DFID).
In a keynote speech at Chatham House, the prestigious UK think tank, Sheeran gave an outlook on global food security and explained what needs to be done to build food security into the international system permanently.