Bad Weather Helps To Push World Food Prices To Six-Year High – UN

Volunteers prepare food packages to be distributed to people in need at the Zaqueo Association in Palma de Mallorca on December 2, 2020. JAIME REINA / AFP
Volunteers prepare food packages to be distributed to people in need at the Zaqueo Association in Palma de Mallorca on December 2, 2020.
JAIME REINA / AFP

 

Global food commodity prices rose sharply in November to their highest level in nearly six years, the UN food agency said Thursday, due in part to adverse weather conditions.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said prices of the most globally traded foodstuffs were up across the board, putting extra pressure in particular on 45 countries that need outside help feeding their populations.

The FAO Food Price Index averaged 105 points during the month, up 3.9 percent from October and 6.5 percent from a year earlier.

“The monthly increase was the sharpest since July 2012, putting the index at its highest level since December 2014,” the Rome-based agency said.

The biggest rise was in the vegetable oil price index, which jumped 14.5 percent because of low palm oil stocks.

The cereal price index rose 2.5 percent from October — making it nearly 20 percent higher than a year ago.

Wheat export prices were also up, because of reduced harvest prospects in Argentina, as were maize prices, with lower output expectations in the US and Ukraine and large purchases by China, the FAO said.

The sugar price index was up 3.3 percent month-on-month amid “growing expectations of a global production shortfall” as bad weather sparked weaker crop prospects in the EU, Russia and Thailand.

Dairy prices also rose 0.9 percent to near an 18-month high, in part because of a boom in sales in Europe. Meat prices were up 0.9 percent from October, but significantly down on a year ago, the report said.

The increase in prices is an extra burden for those who saw their income fall as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which the FAO said is proving to be “an important driver of the levels of global food insecurity”.

“The pandemic is exacerbating and intensifying already fragile conditions caused by conflicts, pests and weather shocks, including recent hurricanes in Central America and floods in Africa,” it said.

“Forty-five countries, 34 of them in Africa, continue to be in need of external assistance for food,” it said.

What is more, it noted a risk of above-average rainfall in southern Africa and East Asia, while parts of Near East Asia and East Africa were expecting reduced rains, “conditions that may result in adverse production shocks”.

 

AFP

UN Warns Against Food Insecurity In Northern Nigeria

UN Warns Against Food Insecurity In Northern NigeriaThe Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations says about eight million people will go hungry in northern Nigeria by the year 2020.

The organisation also said at least 4.5 million people in the region would be needing urgent food assistance.

A representative of the United Nations, Mr Patrick David, made the disclosure in Abuja during a stakeholders’ meeting on food security in northern Nigeria.

Mr David said the situation was worsened by the Boko Haram insurgency, as well as the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the region.

He noted that after studying the population of those affected by food insecurity, one of the recommendations to address the situation was to strengthen their access to food.

“Food assistance is very critical for lots of people in the Northeast states. In addition to that, we’ve seen that the level of malnutrition in these three states (Borno, Yobe and Adamawa) are very critical.

“It’s one of the other recommendations to strengthen the fight against malnutrition in these states and in everywhere we can find children in difficult situation.

Borno IDP's Begin Mass Production Household Products

“Globally when you look at the 16 states, the expected estimate is that more than eight million people are food insecure.

“Of course majority of them are in the Northeast states and there is more than 4.5 million people who still need assistance because they are severely food insecure in the three Northeast states.

“Besides that, the recommendation for the majority of these states which have been studied is to strengthen their access to food.

“The recommendations are expected to be proposed to decision makers to find a way to strengthen the resilience of this population.

“There are many ways to strengthen the resilience in agriculture, in livestock production, in fisheries,” the UN official explained.

Nigeria Meets One MDG Target, Ahead Of Deadline

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has announced that Nigeria has met the target in the fight against hunger, ahead of the 2015 deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

This was revealed by the FAO Director-General, José da Silva, in a statement, where he revealed that Nigeria is among 38 countries that have met the targets by reducing the number of people living below $1 a day by half.

This makes Nigeria one of the countries that have met MDG number one.

However, it is not clear where the country stands with regard to MDG target 1.b which stipulates achieving “full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people”.

According to the statement, the progress of the affected countries was measured between 1990 to 1992 and 2010 to 2012.

Jang visits displaced persons, promises to curb future occurrence

Plateau state Governor Jonah Jang has assured residents of the communities affected by the flood disaster in Jos North Local Government Area to construct road networks and drainages to open up the areas which will curtail reoccurring of flood disaster in the affected communities.

Addressing community leaders and the internally displaced persons at the College of Islamic Studies Centre, Rikkos, the governor observed that lack of adequate drainage and planning were responsible for the disaster, hence government determination to address the issue of flooding in the affected areas and other places prone to such natural disaster.

The governor also assured that government will pay compensation for houses that will be demolished in the course of road construction and drainage systems.

The governor was accompanied by government functionaries to express government concern and readiness to partner with the communities in providing necessary infrastructure that will curb future occurrence.

Commiserating with the displaced persons over the loss of family members and property including community leaders present at the camp; the governor appealed to the people to always adhere to environmental instructions in order to avoid future occurrence.

Intervention in the camps by government and Non-Governmental Agencies have been on the increase since the disaster occurred with National Emergency Management Agency leading the pack in providing relief materials for the displaced persons.

The United Nations systems comprising Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Organisation on Migration, Food and Agriculture Organisation as well as UNICEF are also on ground to render assistance to the flood disaster.