Will G8 Summit be Able to Save World from Hunger? - TrendCapital Commentator

Azerbaijan, Baku, 9 July / Trend , corr A. Badalova/ The three-day summit of the G8 began in Hokkaido on 7 July. The key problems on the agenda of the 34th summit are current state of the world economy and change of climate all over the planet. The first day of the summit was dedicated to the assistance to the countries. The leaders of eight African states also took part in the summit - Algeria. Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, SAR, Tanzania and chairman of the African Union.

President of the World Bank Robert Zellik said during the joint conference with the UN Secretary General Ban ki Moon that the more sensible layers of the population of entire planet need help more than ever who suffer from high energy source and foodstuff prices. 

According to the estimations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the food prices increased by 60% all over the world for the last three years. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of UN, the import of food can exceed a trillion dollars in 2008.

According to WB, the food inflation caused drop in GDP by 5% to 10% in some African countries. The rise in wheat, rice and corn prices made up $324bln in the developing countries. The rise in foodstuff prices has led to rebellions in Africa, Caribbean islands, Asia and Middle East.

According to Zellik, the WB regularly allocates some €3bln as a voluntary donation. This figure can reach €5bln-€6bln.

WB President believes that the food crisis is caused by several factors one of which is using grain crops for bio-fuel production. He called on to re-consider the policy of the developed countries concerning this type of fuel and stop allotting funds for its production. Zellik also stressed the shortage of food reserves all over the world and need for putting up its production.

The British paper Guardian reported quoting the unpublished report of WB that the production of bio-fuel from the agricultural products led to the rise in the food prices by 75% all over the world. Earlier US stated that the production of bio-fuel caused rise in the food prices by more than 3%. According to the International Institute for Study of Food Policy of the United States, more than a quarter of the bio-fuel production accounted for wheat from 2006 to 2007.

The UN Secretary General said during the G8 summit that additional studies must be carried out to evaluate the impact of bio-fuel on food crisis. President of the World Bank called on US and Europe to reduce export tariffs for agricultural products used for bio-fuel production. "We should not allow the fuel tanks to be filled up with the human food," he said.

Concerning the resolution of the food crisis, Zellik stressed the importance of improving access to seeds and mineral fertilizers. It is no so difficult to increase the output capacity in Africa.

The Food an Agricultural Organization of UN demanded collections worth $1.8bln to provide low income countries with seeds and other agricultural aid.

According to WB President, the another way out of the situation is lifting export restrictions and bans leading to the rise in the food prices all over the world. Lifting ban on purchase of food for the poor countries will enable to demonstrate common will to eliminate barriers on the way of assistance to the people in need.

In spite of all the suggested measures to fight food crisis, there is no grounds to improve situation in the food market, and high food prices will remain 'very high' until 2012. According to UN forecast, the number of starving people all over the world can reach 100 million by 2030. The forecast of the experts are also not comforting.

The recognition of the serious problems of mankind over food and discussing measures to address it, are steps to solve this crisis. There is a need for a decent time so that these measures will yield result.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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