- Title: SPAIN: ADB meets in Madrid, demands global action on food inflation
- Date: 4th May 2008
- Summary: VARIOUS OF DELEGATES AND GUESTS AT MEETING VENUE ASIAN WOMAN AT INDONESIA STAND INDONESIAN UMBRELLAS AT STAND
- Embargoed: 19th May 2008 13:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAC9FLFILFFO507PMT8ZWYY828X
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) calls on countries to combat soaring food prices.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) called on Saturday (May 3) for immediate action from global governments to combat soaring food prices and pledged fresh financial aid to help feed the Asia Pacific region's poorest nations.
"Combined, 75 per cent of expenditure of the poor would be affected by price inflation -you can imagine how big of an impact this is likely to be on those poor people. Now, many developing countries in Asia as well as other parts of the world have oil subsidies and this is not a very effective way to helping poor people," ADB president Haruhiko Kurdo told journalists at a news conference in Madrid, where the bank is holding its four-day annual meeting.
The organization set out a plan of short and medium to longer term assistance work, including financial support, to protect the most vulnerable groups as well as programmes to mitigate the immediate impact on the poor of soaring food prices.
Kurdo also addressed the issue of biofuels.
"There are many kinds of biofuels and the technology progress may make biofuel production from non-food materials possible and competitive. So we are open but we are careful not to increase CO2 by supporting particular biofuel production," he said.
The ADB's call came as ministers from Southeast Asian nations agreed at a meeting in Indonesia to cooperate to tackle rice prices that have almost tripled this year and as the African Development Bank (AfDB) pledged to add $1 billion to its loan programme to address the food crisis in African countries.
The Asia-Pacific region is home to two thirds of the world's poor with
5 billion people -- three times the population of Europe -- living on less than $2 a day.
Rice is a staple food in most Asian nations and any shortage could lead to unrest and instability, governments are extremely sensitive to its price.
Global food prices, based on United Nations records, rose 35 percent in the year to the end of January, markedly accelerating an upturn that began, gently at first, in 2002. Since then, prices have risen 65 percent.
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