Last Updated: Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The United Nations said Tuesday it would set up a high-level task force headed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to tackle the global food crisis.
Ban said UN leaders will take a series of medium and long-term measures, with the first priority the $755-million US shortfall in funding for the World Food Program, much of it because of soaring world grain prices.
The secretary general told reporters in the Swiss capital, Berne, that the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has a $1.7-billion plan to provide seeds for farmers in the world’s poorest countries.
“Without full funding of these emergency requirements, we risk again the spectre of widespread hunger, malnutrition and social unrest on an unprecedented scale,” Ban said. “We anticipate that additional funding will be required,” he said.
A UN statement released at the same time said the world’s poor were hardest hit by rising food costs and there was worse to come.
The new task force will be made up of UN agency chiefs and the head of the World Bank, officials said.