UN World Food Programme

World Bank Chief Sees Dangerous Year Ahead

 Robert Zoellick and WFP's Executive Director, Josette Sheeran

Copyright: WFP/Simona Caleo

The year ahead will be a “dangerous” one for the world’s poor and hungry, World Bank President Robert Zoellick told the World Food Programme’s executive board on Friday.

As many as 53 million more people could be trapped in poverty as economic growth slows around the world, said Zoellick, citing new World Bank statistics. Read WB news release

Higher levels of poverty usually translate into more hungry people in the world. This is especially true in 2009 because of the effects of the global food crisis. 

Zoellick stressed that in many poor countries food prices remained high. 

Zoellick visited WFP headquarters in Rome to discuss the food and financial crises, and the initiatives that the World Bank is taking in the face of these challenges

One way in which the World Bank and its partners try to counter the effects of an economic downturn in developing countries is by upgrading existing ‘safety net’ schemes.

Zoellick said that in places where no such schemes were in place, the world looked to WFP to provide that additional support.

The World Bank has worked closely with WFP since the food price crisis exploded to ensure that the UN system and other partners provide the best response. 

Go to the World Bank's Food Crisis page

Go to the World Bank's Financial Crisis page