UN Chief:"your upsetting our Millennium Development Goals, GIVE US $$$"Submitted by christopher X on Mon, 04/14/2008 - 16:09
UN Chief: Food Crisis Is Now Emergency
Monday April 14, 2:10 pm ET
bsz-cc, By EDITH M. LEDERER
UN Chief: Food Crisis Has Reached Emergency Proportions, Threatens Fight Against Poverty
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- A rapidly escalating global food crisis has reached emergency proportions and threatens to wipe out seven years of progress in the fight against poverty, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Monday.
He called for short-term emergency measures in many regions to meet urgent food needs and avoid starvation and longer-term efforts to significantly increase production of food grains.
The "international community will also need to take urgent and concerted action in order to avoid the larger political and security implications of this growing crisis," Ban told international finance and trade officials who came to a U.N. meeting following weekend talks in Washington.
The secretary-general echoed World Bank President Robert Zoellick's appeal to governments on Sunday to quickly provide the U.N. World Food Program with $500 million in emergency aid that it needs by May 1.
Zoellick said the international community has "to put our money where our mouth is" to deal with rapidly rising food prices that have caused hunger and deadly violence in several countries.
Ban said the recent steep rise in food prices "has already raised the cost of WFP's needs to maintain its current operations from $500 million to $755 million."
WFP, the world's largest humanitarian agency, issued an "extraordinary emergency appeal" to donor countries for $500 million last month, saying the money was needed by May 1 to avoid cutting rations to some of the world's most impoverished regions. The Rome-based agency said its funding gap was growing weekly.
"The rapidly escalating crisis of food availability around the world has reached emergency proportions," Ban said.
"The World Bank has estimated that the doubling of food prices over the last three years could push 100 million people in low income countries deeper into poverty," he said.
Ban echoed Zoellick in warning that that the food crisis "could mean seven lost years in the fight against worldwide poverty."
The United Nations is at a midpoint in its campaign to reduce global poverty and improve living standards of the world's bottom billion. The Millennium Development Goals, adopted at a U.N. summit in 2000, include cutting extreme poverty by half by 2015.