UN to establish task force to tackle food crisis

April 29th, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by admin  

Geneva, April 29 (Xinhua) The UN will establish a task force to tackle global food crisis, its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced in the Swiss capital Bern Tuesday. Ban, who will head the task force, announced the decision after meeting with 27 key international agencies. The UN will take a series of emergent and long-term measures to deal with the crisis, he told reporters.

He said the first priority of the high-level task force would be to meet a shortfall of $755 million in funding for the World Food Programme.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) had a plan to provide seeds worth $1.7 billion for farmers in the world’s poorest countries, he said.

Ban called on the world leaders to attend a June meeting in Rome to hammer out plans to solve the global food crisis. He said the international community had previously not listened to warnings from the FAO and other agencies.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick, who also attended the meeting, urged the international community to focus on the long-term measures on the food crisis.

After the meeting, Pascal Lamy, director-general of World Trade Organisation (WTO), said the crisis was another reason to conclude the Doha round of trade talks.

The Doha round of trade talks aims at liberalising food and other goods as well as services by cutting tariffs and subsidies.

“I believe today’s call for action under the auspices of the UN secretary-general can help WTO members gather the necessary political energy in order to help developing countries increase their food production capacity,” Lamy said.

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