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May 16, 2021

WB’s Zoellick calls for world leaders to “put food first”

World Bank has outlined an action plan that could help protectthe poor and vulnerable from food price volatility.

Food security should be onthe top agenda as world leadersdeal with a slew of global challenges,President of the WorldBank Group (WB) Robert B.Zoellick (photo) said Tuesday,Xinhua informs.

“We are calling on the G-187meeting here this week and theG20 meeting later in the year toact now to put Food First,”Zoellick said at a press teleconferenceheld during the World Bankand International MonetaryFund Spring Meetings inWashington. “This is doable.And it can and should be a G20deliverable.”

He said that the world iscoming out of one crisis – thefinancial and economic crisis.

“But we are facing other risksand tumultuous changes: highand volatile food prices; high fuelprices with knock-on effects forfood and through food for stability;political turmoil across theMiddle East; political turmoil inCote d’Ivoire; repeated naturaldisasters; rising inflation inemerging markets with somerisks of overheating; sovereigndebt issues in Europe.

Among these challenges, the187-member global lender seesthe rising food challenge as themost critical issue that has beenaffecting millions of peoplearound the world.

In a speech earlier this year,Zoellick mentioned that foodsecurity has become a globalsecurity issue. Later this week thebank will release an updatedFood Price Watch, a report thattracks global prices.

“The poor are suffering moreand there are more poor suffering”,Zoellick said.

He noted that the WorldBank has outlined an action planthat could help protect the poorand vulnerable from food pricevolatility, and boost productionto help provide better food security.The World Bank and its siblinginstitution, the IMF, kickedoff their week-long annual springmeeting programs on Mondaywith the release of the IMF’sWorld Economic Outlookreport.

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