News ID: 321193
Published: 0237 GMT April 23, 2022

World Bank, IMF, WTO leaders urge quick action to address food security

World Bank, IMF, WTO leaders urge quick action to address food security

The leaders of the International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization and the World Bank called for quick work on a new action plan on food security to be prepared by international financial institutions.

"It is truly pressing to get it to move so we avoid people dying unnecessarily," IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told an event held as part of the spring meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, Reuters reported.

World Bank President David Malpass said one critical step would be to get greater transparency about countries' food stockpiles to help markets function better.

WTO Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in a joint statement with World Bank and IMF leaders said the threat is highest for the poorest countries with a large share of consumption from food imports, but vulnerability is increasing rapidly in middle-income countries, which host the majority of the world’s poor.

World Bank estimates warn that for each one percentage point increase in food prices, 10 million people are thrown into extreme poverty worldwide, according to the statement.

“The rise in food prices is exacerbated by a dramatic increase in the cost of natural gas, a key ingredient of nitrogenous fertilizer. Surging fertilizer prices along with significant cuts in global supplies have important implications for food production in most countries, including major producers and exporters, who rely heavily on fertilizer imports. The increase in food prices and supply shocks can fuel social tensions in many of the affected countries, especially those that are already fragile or affected by conflict,” reads the statement.

“It is critical to quickly provide support for food insecure countries in a coordinated manner. We stand ready to work together with our multilateral and bilateral partners to help countries address this urgent crisis,” it concluded.


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