The G8 and the Global Food Security Crisis

July 9, 2009


Jennifer Clapp
CIGI Chair and Professor, Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo

Food security is on the agenda as the G8 leaders meet this week in L’Aquila, Italy. It is an appropriate moment to be addressing this important issue, as the FAO recently announced that the number of undernourished people on this planet has now surpassed 1 billion. This is an historic high for the number of people experiencing severe hunger.

It is extremely troubling that global hunger is on the rise despite the fact that food prices on international markets are lower today than they were last year at this time, when the G8 leaders last met. When looking at the factors contributing to this situation, it becomes clear there are multiple complex causes to the current food situation, many of which have sources in rich countries. These problems have been exacerbated by the current economic crisis as it spreads from North to South.