World Bank calls for new solution to fight old problem

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2008 (AFP) – The World Bank on Wednesday called on the international community to mount a wide-ranging fight against hunger as skyrocketing food prices critically threaten the world’s poor. “We need a New Deal for Global Food Policy,” World Bank president Robert Zoellick said in a speech to a Washington think tank ahead of next week’s spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Referring to a 1930s US government initiative to tackle the problems of the Great Depression, Zoellick said that the new New Deal for Global Food Policy should start by helping those who are most immediately threatened with malnutrition and starvation.

Zoellick urged countries to provide the minimum 500 million dollars immediately sought by the World Food Program (WFP) to face the mounting food crisis.

The United States, European Union, Japan, and other developed countries “must act now to fill this gap — or many more people will suffer and starve,” he told the Center for Global Development.

The WFP, a United Nations agency, issued “an extraordinary emergency appeal” to governments on March 20 for money to close a widening funding gap created by soaring food and fu