[hepr-vn] ECONOMIC STIMULUS MUST ADDRESS FOOD CRISIS IN ASIA-PACIFIC – UN REPORT
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Sat Apr 25 11:02:00 EST 2009
Subject: ECONOMIC STIMULUS MUST ADDRESS FOOD CRISIS IN ASIA-PACIFIC – UN REPORT
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:00:12 -0400
From: UNNews <UNNews at un.org>
To: <news9 at secint00.un.org>
ECONOMIC STIMULUS MUST ADDRESS FOOD CRISIS IN ASIA-PACIFIC – UN REPORT
New York, Apr 24 2009 2:00PM
Any economic recovery must take into account that the global financial
catastrophe has spiralled into a food crisis for the 583 million people
struggling to make a living across the Asia-Pacific region, according to a new
United Nations report released today.
The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific
(<"http://www.unescap.org/unis/press/2009/apr/g31.asp">ESCAP) study warned that
rising unemployment and falling incomes, on top of already high food prices, are
increasing the pressure on the poor and vulnerable in the region.
Raising concerns over the return of pressures that drove food prices to historic
highs last year once the global economy recovers, the “Sustainable Agriculture
and Food Security in Asia and the Pacific” report stressed that the food crisis
must be addressed as part of the response to the global economic meltdown.
“Efforts at stimulating the economies also provide us a window of opportunity to
address the systemic issues related to food insecurity,” said Noeleen Heyzer,
ESCAP Executive Secretary.
She noted that “while the world’s attention is very much on the economic crisis,
food insecurity remains a real threat.
The study re-affirms that poverty is the leading cause of food insecurity in the
Asia-Pacific region, which is home to 62 per cent of world’s undernourished. The
lack of access to land also prevents many poor people from growing their own
food. Other causes for food insecurity range from low farm revenues to volatile
fuel prices and speculation.
Protectionist trade policies pushing up food prices is another cause of food
insecurity highlighted in the study, as most countries in the region meet their
national needs through imports.
The new report recommends improving the ability for people to buy or access food
through the development of social protection schemes such as minimum wage,
unemployment benefits, “food-for-work” programmes, basic health care and
agricultural insurance as short-term measures.
In the longer-term, food availability at the national level can be promoted
through trade and investments in sustainable agriculture and small scale farmers
will be important.
For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news
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