A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
World food prices near record high: Oxfam reaction
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has just published its food price index which shows a sharp rise in June, after a steep increase in the price of sugar.
Thierry Kesteloot, Oxfam food policy lead:
"Global food prices are now sitting nearly 40% higher that at this time last year. The big story this month was a 14% spike in global sugar prices because Brazil's production is forecast to fall, alongside the unrelenting pressure to keep diverting so much sugar into biofuels in order to keep global fuel prices down. Biofuel mandates are creating an inflexible demand for feed-stocks which drives up food prices.
"This steady climb in global food prices is hurting millions of poor people, many of whom already spend up to 80% of their income on food. The international community have been far too weak and slow in responding. The G20 and the Committee on Food Security need to tackle price volatility much more aggressively by phasing out biofuels targets, building up food reserves and improving transparency around food stock levels, so that we know what food is available in order to manage stocks accordingly."
Oxfam's GROW campaign, to fix the world's food system
Anna Mitchell (UK), Phone: +44 1865 339 157, Mobile: +44 7796 993 288