Tags: Commodities | Rally | Global | Hunger | Threat

David Beckmann: Global Hunger May Spread as Corn Prices Soar

Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010 01:13 PM

Commodity futures at the highest level in two years show that crop-price volatility remains a threat to the world’s poor and hungry, according to the Rev. David Beckmann, a co-winner of this year’s World Food Prize.

Higher prices for corn, wheat and soybeans may exacerbate world hunger, Beckmann said today in an interview at the annual conference where the prize is awarded in Des Moines, Iowa. Beckmann was honored for his work as president of Bread for the World, a Washington-based non-profit group that advocates for policies that ease hunger around the world.

“One immediate effect is likely to be an increase in the number of undernourished people in the world,” said Beckmann, an ordained Lutheran minister.

Global food costs are at their highest since August 2008, when rising expenses for grain and other staples triggered unrest in countries such as Mexico and Egypt. Prices have risen 15 percent since June, according to UN data. Commodity prices surged this week after the U.S. government cut its crop- production forecasts.

Twenty-two countries from Angola to Haiti are in a “protracted” food crisis because of natural disasters, wars and flawed governance, the United Nations said last week. The number of hungry people in the world will fall this year to an estimated 925 million from a record 1.02 billion last year, the first decline in 15 years, the UN said in September.

The U.S. is trying to raise $1 billion for a global food- security fund by appealing to Group of 20 finance ministers, central bankers and world leaders meeting over the next few weeks.

The World Food Prize recognizes achievement in food and agriculture that alleviates hunger and poverty globally. The annual conference brings together governments, businesses and humanitarian organizations to discuss farming and international development.

Beckmann shared the food prize this year with Jo Luck, head of Little Rock, Arkansas-based Heifer International, which provides livestock to developing-world farmers.

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Commodity futures at the highest level in two years show that crop-price volatility remains a threat to the world s poor and hungry, according to the Rev. David Beckmann, a co-winner of this year s World Food Prize.Higher prices for corn, wheat and soybeans may exacerbate...
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2010-13-13
Wednesday, 13 Oct 2010 01:13 PM
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