- Registration time
- Last login
- Online time
- 811 Hour
- Reading permission
Panic hurts poor more than anybody else|
The 2008 food price crisis taught us a valuable lesson. Triggered by droughts in Australia and Argentina, the food price crisis prompted different countries to adopt different policies to restrict food exports. For example, there was no shortage of rice, yet many countries, prompted by panic, imposed higher taxes on rice exports or banned rice exports altogether. As a result, rice prices doubled in the global market in six months, causing severe disruptions in rice trade and triggering a food price crisis.
The Ebola outbreak in three West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea is another example. Due to restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles, local farmers could not purchase inputs or sell their agricultural products, and the consequent disruption in both domestic supply and imports of foods raise prices in urban areas. School meal and nutrition programs, too, were affected because food could not be transported to schools.
More important, the number of hungry people is likely to increase again this year, as lockdowns and restrictions on the movement of people and traffic have reduced inputs and labor in the farm sector leading to a decline in food production and supply. Plus, slower economic growth is indirectly impacting millions of people's food security.
The coronavirus pandemic will cause a global recession in 2020 that could be worse than the one triggered by the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, although world economic output should recover in 2021, according to the International Monetary Fund. And an International Food Policy Research Institute study shows that for every 1 percentage point decline in the global economy, the number of poor — and therefore the number of food insecure people — would increase by 2 percent, that is, by 14 million. And the biggest regional poverty impact would be on Africa.