As America's #firstmom and #firstgardenerinchief wowed the world last night with an electrifying speech at DNC2012, three UN Agencies issued an alarming report calling for a “swift, co-ordinated international action” to tackle rising food prices which threaten tens of millions globally over the next few months.
The report, issued jointly by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) exemplifies the wisdom which informs the worldview of Mrs. Obama, whose decision to focus on nutrition and local food security is one of the most forward-thinking policies identified with the first four years of the Obama administration.
Early this morning, Oxfam International said that severe US droughts, which will characterize climate change over the next twenty years, coupled with other climate related catastrophes, severely underestimate the expectation of the doubling of food prices over the next 20 years. In an article Sudden spikes in global food prices to 'become the norm', Oxfam officials warned that officials have failed to take into account the severe impact global climate change will have on food security.
“The huge potential impact of extreme weather events of future food prices is missing from today’s climate change debate,” said the charity’s climate change policy advisor Tim Gore. “Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns hold back crop production and cause steady prices rises. But extreme weather events – like the current US drought – can wipe out entire harvests and trigger dramatic food price spikes.”
The acumen of Mrs Obama's agenda is evidenced by her role in the $4.5 billion Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, legislation which not only focuses on the need for America's children to have access to nutritious school meals but also on assisting communities as they "establish local farm to school networks, create school gardens, and ensure that more local foods are used in schools."
Feed our Kids, Feed The World
As Mrs. Obama's sharp focus on food and nutrition initiatives engaged the nation's children in a four-year, experiential educational process, this spring's G-8 Summit launched the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition tasked with achieving global food security within the next ten years.
In partnership with Africa’s people and leaders, our goals are to increase responsible domestic and foreign private investments in African agriculture, take innovations that can enhance agricultural productivity to scale, and reduce the risk borne by vulnerable economies and communities. We recognize and will act upon the critical role played by smallholder farmers, especially women, in transforming agriculture and building thriving economies.
The is a shared commitment to achieve sustained and inclusive agricultural growth and raise 50 million people out of poverty over the next 10 years by aligning the commitments of Africa’s leadership to drive effective country plans and policies for food security; the commitments of private sector partners to increase investments where the conditions are right; and the commitments of the G-8 to expand Africa’s potential for rapid and sustainable agricultural growth. Fact Sheet: G-8 Action on Food Security and Nutrition
Yesterday's UN report expressed concerns of a repeat of 2007-2008 world food crisis, and called for "assistance for smallholder farmers, nutritional support to mothers and children, and school meals..."
Wow, just WOW!