What a global food crisis looks like: Oxfam's food prices map

Food prices have hovered near an all-time peak since late 2010 sending tens of millions of people into poverty. Oxfam's interactive map shows how poor communities across the world are being hurt by high and volatile food prices. This ‘food price pressure points map’ provides a global snapshot of the impacts of the global food price crisis.

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What causes food price spikes?

Failed crops – often caused by our changing climate – hit food prices hard. So does the rising cost of oil – used to grow, fertilize and transport food.

Short-sighted biofuels strategies play a part too – taking food off of people's plates and putting it into car tanks. And dysfunctional commodities markets mean that food prices go up faster and higher than they should.

But despite all these complex causes, the effects on poor people are painfully simple. Parents choose between feeding their children and feeding themselves.

Whole communities face an uncertain future, because all anyone can think about is where their next meal will come from.

It's time to grow out of food price spikes.

The way to GROW

Food price spikes happen because of things like climate change and rising oil prices – so a major part of the solution involves getting those root causes under control.

But what's also needed is more effective global handling of food price crises when they do happen. That way, the poorest families have somewhere to turn even when things do get desperate – and when they suddenly can't afford even the meager amount they could afford a week earlier.

For our world to GROW together, we need to get food price spikes under control.c

Related links

Here's Oxfam's analysis of 2012 food price hikes (pdf 237kb)

Rising food prices: Case studies from around the world

Blog: The GROW Method: How to fix the food system with every bite

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