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Food prices: a perfect storm

Global food prices are at an all-time high. Many devastating factors are combining at the same time – a perfect storm for the world’s poorest people. Concern’s teams are responding, but international leaders need to address the situation with extreme urgency.

It is not just the consistent and rapid increase in prices that is alarming. Changes in prices happen, but it is the volatility that is causing alarm. Price fluctuations are becoming greater and, perhaps more worryingly, less predictable. 

The global food system itself is becoming more volatile. In this turbulent scenario, it is those who are least able to cope who will bear the brunt of the impact.

Soaring prices

This week, The World Bank said that soaring commodity prices have pushed an estimated 44 million people into poverty since last summer. This is because food prices have risen by almost 30% in the past twelve months. 

This is in addition to the nearly one billion people – almost one sixth of the world’s population – that the UN says are already experiencing hunger every day. 

A human right

Food is a human right for everyone. It is not good enough that a situation like this can exist in the 21st century. This issue needs to be higher up the international political agenda and must be matched by imaginative and innovative actions.

Food crisis

If you are spending up to 80% of your income on basic foods to survive, even a slight increase in price will affect how much food your family has available to them. Concern works in 25 of the world’s poorest countries and we are seeing the impact of this developing situation every day. 

Action needed

Our teams are tackling this crisis by increasing our focus on hunger and malnutrition. The “big picture” of this crisis, however, needs urgent global action.

The forthcoming meetings of the G8 and G20 have a serious responsibility to address this situation.