Rising food prices push 44 million people into poverty
9 May 2011
Rising food prices have pushed about 44 million people into poverty since last June, World Bank (WB) Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said here on Monday.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made the remarks while addressing the plenary session of the UN least developed countries conference, which are being held here from May 9 to 13.
She said the 2008 food crisis led to over 40 riots in many poor countries, serving as a strong warning about the importance of food security for social stability and people's own security.
Millions of people in the world's poorest countries are today living on knife edge, the victims of high and volatile food prices, she said.
"People's lives too are under threat by the impact of climate change and civil unrest. The devastation wrought by climate change, volatile and high food prices and conflicts pose threats not only to the poor people within countries, but can also spill over borders and threaten global security," she added.
The world's least developed countries also face the challenge of dealing with a youth bulge, as more than 50 percent of the population in the least developed countries are below 25 years of age.
She noted that despite the good growth rates experienced by the leased developed countries, the favorable economic conditions of pre-crisis period no longer exist.
"We need to focus on three critical issues: fiscal stability, building on the comparative advantage of countries and attracting foreign direct investment to support manufacturing and scaling up what we know works, designing safety net programs to protect the poor and vulnerable," she said.
Source: Istanbul (Xinhua)
« Return to news archives