Venezuela proposes oil-for-food fund

May 8th, 2008 - 7:41 pm ICT by admin  

Managua (Nicaragua), May 8 (Xinhua) The Venezuelan government has urged Latin American energy-rich countries to create an oil-for-food fund for regional development. “The time has arrived for the Latin American and Caribbean people to discuss our right to quality food,” Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s foreign minister, said at the Sovereignty and Food Security Summit in Managua Wednesday.

“We will devise a formula based on the price of oil and the level of production that would allow for the creation of a special oil-for-food fund, taking into consideration the means of each country,” Maduro said at the summit, which involves countries of Central America, the Caribbean and Venezuela.

The proposal includes the launching of agricultural investment with a seed capital of $100 million.

The regional leaders agreed to work to get private banks in the region to direct at least 10 percent of their total lending to farmers.

Venezuela also proposed to convene a new summit for the Latin American oil-producing countries to explore further the oil-for-food formula.

Oil prices recently hit a record high at $120 a barrel, while prices for basic grains have also risen across the globe on a combination of factors like increased food demand in Asia and the use of crops for bio-fuels.

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