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United Kingdom Urges Global Action On Food Prices

UK Department for International Development (DFID)

UK urges global action on food prices

Douglas Alexander today called for a concerted international drive to combat food price rises, proposing a new partnership on agriculture and food which will tackle the short-term effects, and the long-term causes, of rising prices.

Speaking at the World Food Summit in Rome, the International Development Secretary also announced further UK funding to respond to the current situation. These bring the total UK contribution to more than £500m.

Douglas Alexander said:

"Rising food prices are not only affecting UK consumers but also many millions of the world's poorest people.

"This global crisis requires global action. It is no exaggeration to say that millions of lives could depend on an effective response to this crisis.

"That is why the UK is promising action in the short, medium and long term.

"We will provide immediate humanitarian relief where it is most needed. We are offering governments direct support for agriculture and rural development and we have already announced £400 million to assist long term agricultural research. Only by that kind of concerted effort can we hope to overcome the problems that confront us."

The money announced by the UK today will include the following long- and short-term help:

- £33m funding for humanitarian relief and social protection (that is, money given directly to poor consumers to help them buy food) in Mozambique, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sierra Leone, four of the worst-affected countries

- £7.5m funding for research to make crops hardier to withstand climate change in Bangladesh

- £38m for roadbuilding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to help farmers to buy supplies and sell their crops

ENDS

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