May 14, 2008

Still Waiting for Developed Countries Commitments and Action on Food Crisis

In the lasts months, International Organizations as well as NGOs multiplyed ewquests for additional foundings both in the short and in the long term in order to fight against food crisis negative impacts on the South.

World Bank was probably the most active institution. They propose an interesting action plan that couple both emergency intervenctions (mainly through financing food vauchers that are less distoritves than in-kind food aid) as erll as medium term investments and aid to improve productivity in the South. Mr. Zoellick call it a New Deal for the food crisis.

So far, so good. This time solutions proposed seems to be pragmatic and not biased toward a so-called neo-liberal ideology (as in the 80s and 90s). What is more, the debate with other organizations provide some other needed policy changes as, for example, more "policy space" for developing countries, the need to increase climate adaptation aid, etc.

The problem it that as Mr Diouf (FAO Secretary General) says these kind of programs have been created by the FAO (among others) many years ago. The problem is that founding by developed countries was not enough to implement them.

Once again, in this current cisis, developed countries do not answer quickly by providing new founding. They simply put on the table some small grants in order to demonstrate to theyr citizens that they are doing something.

We need to change the system by reducing the dependency of the UN and other international institutions on developed countries "special contribution" (in fact, "compulsory" contribution are quite low and allow only to run these institutions). The ideas to found a global development program with a small tax on airplanes tickets or on financial transactions need to be further explored and implemented.

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