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How NOT to Fix the Global Food Crisis -- France Says Poor Countries Should Provide EU-Style Farm Subsidies, while U.S. Farm Bill Puts Vested Interests First

And now for a really bad idea: according to the Financial Times Michel Barnier, France's farm minister, told a food crisis summit in Berne that Africa and Latin America should adopt their own versions of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy -- massive trade-distorting subsidies -- as a response to rising demand for food.

Trade Policy for a New Deal on Hunger

This is a joint post with Arvind Subramanian

In a Q&A published today, CGD non-resident fellow Peter Timmer estimates that soaring global food prices and panicky starve-thy-neighbor rice export restrictions in Asia could lead to 10 million or more premature deaths in the region if the current high prices are passed along to poor rice consumers.

Can the MDBs Jump-Start the Market for Country Risk Management Tools?

World Bank President Robert Zoellick, CGD President Nancy Birdsall, and CGD Non-resident Fellow Guillermo PerryCGD recently hosted a roundtable discussion on a set of important questions confronting the multilateral development banks (MDBs) as the market for their loans shrinks: can they help to foster a greatly expanded market for new risk management tools -- such as insurance and other hedging mechanisms -- to

Biofuels Worsening Hunger and Global Warming--So Yank the Subsidies!

Policymakers in the U.S. and European Union have responded to rising oil prices, instability in the Middle East, and concerns about climate change by promoting biofuels as an alternative to petroleum-based gasoline and diesel. But biofuels are now getting much of the blame for soaring food prices and questions are being raised about the purported environmental benefits. As shown in the chart, US production of corn-based ethanol surged over the past two years, coinciding with the run-up in food prices.

The Global Food Crisis: Time for Action, Not Panic

The New York Times yesterday (and Paul Krugman earlier in the week) called on rich countries to "step up to the plate" in confronting the food crisis in developing countries -- in the short run by increasing their donations of food aid. and in the medium run by getting rid of economically inefficient, inequitable, and environmentally unsound subsidies for biofuels, especially corn-based ethanol.

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