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The High Food Price Challenge

The High Food Price Challenge

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Published by ACFUK
High food prices in 2007-2008 threatened the livelihoods and food security of billions of people worldwide for whom getting enough food to eat was already a daily struggle. All over the world, individuals, civil society groups, governments and international organisations took action to cope with the crisis triggered by skyrocketing food prices.

This report investigates whether these responses were appropriate and effective and whether high food prices have brought about any changes in food and agriculture policies. Whereas price volatility remains a threat for the world’s poor, the intention of this report is to draw key lessons from these responses in order to inform future policies and programmes.
High food prices in 2007-2008 threatened the livelihoods and food security of billions of people worldwide for whom getting enough food to eat was already a daily struggle. All over the world, individuals, civil society groups, governments and international organisations took action to cope with the crisis triggered by skyrocketing food prices.

This report investigates whether these responses were appropriate and effective and whether high food prices have brought about any changes in food and agriculture policies. Whereas price volatility remains a threat for the world’s poor, the intention of this report is to draw key lessons from these responses in order to inform future policies and programmes.

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Published by: ACFUK on Feb 01, 2011
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07/10/2013

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High food prices favoured regional integration processes,
including policy dialogue (e.g. around cross-border trade)
and the development of common instruments like food
reserves. In May 2008, the Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS) countries launched the
“offensive for food production to combat hunger.” This
three-pronged regional strategy revolved around rapid
and sustainable increase of staple food production, value
chain organization, and regional market integration
and regulation along with safety nets. This strategy is
meant to boost the implementation of the ECOWAP,
the common agricultural policy that was prepared for

The Oakland Institute

The high Food Price challenge | 31

the region in 2005 but never implemented. The strategy
includes the establishment of an ECOWAS commission
that would support member states in developing
agricultural investment programmes and prepare the
adoption of “compacts,” i.e. partnerships, for coordinated
implementation. ECOWAS also plans investment at the
regional level, for instance in stocks, trade, or information
systems. The regional body has called for donor support
for these programmes but instead of merely waiting for it,
it has already mobilized $900 million of its own funds to
support them.98

Though West Africa seems the most advanced area
in terms of regional integration, other countries are
following the same path: governments in East Africa
decided in November 2009 to create a common market;99
the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC),
like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),
revived regional grain reserve plans.100

IV.2 Effectiveness of International
Cooperation in Response to High
Food Prices

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