The international community has responded to the food price inflation – which has hit the world because of global warming-induced drought – by pledging money to help the most affected poor countries tide over the crisis.
At the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Tokyo on Friday, Japan and South Korea pledged 60 million U.S. dollars between them to improve food security in the developing countries that suffer from chronic hunger, exacerbated by the recent food price volatility.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced his country was prepared to add one dollar to every two dollars contributed by other donors up to a total of 475 million dollars.
Geithner said the US was committed to lead the fight against hunger and malnutrition, and wanted to help communities become more self-sufficient in food, help farmers increase productivity and reduce poverty.
World Bank President Jim Kong Kim said volatile food prices had damaging long-term consequences to the world’s poor. “A mother should not have to choose between feeding her children and sending them to school,” he said.
The new money will be channeled through a multi-donor trust fund created by the G20 in 2010 called the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP), which has already allocated 658 million dollars to 18 countries which are most vulnerable to the hike in food prices.