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.
Millions of the world’s poorest people will face devastation from today’s rocketing food prices because the global food system is fatally flawed and policy-makers can’t find the courage to fix it.
Policy-makers have taken cheap food for granted for nearly 30 years. Those days are gone. Developing countries are bracing themselves for the worst effects of rising corn, soy and wheat prices on their poorest people.
Fragile populations around the world, living on or near the poverty line, will be dragged under by price spikes and volatility. Nearly a billion people are already too poor to feed themselves, so any long-term food spike is guaranteed to trap millions more who are now just “getting by”. Worrying too is the continuing drop in global corn stocks that are now at their lowest levels for six years .
History is repeating itself and will keep doing so until we tackle the fundamental weaknesses that keep a billion people hungry.
- We must stop the obscene waste of food including burning it as biodiesel in our trucks and cars.
- We need to tackle climate change and land-grabs and damaging speculation.
- We must build up our food stocks and kick-start good investment again in small-holder farmers and in resilient, sustainable agriculture.
Here's Oxfam's analysis of 2012 food price hikes (pdf 237kb)
Learn more about Food Prices Spikes