World leaders met at the U.N. this week to discuss the growing food crisis in which the cost of food around the globe continues to increase. Conclusions reached included that more food aid should be delivered to the hungry, small farmers should be provided with seeds and fertilizer, restrictions on free trade should be lifted, and investments into improving crop production should be made.
The issue of biofuels was discussed, and governments with policies of diverting food crops to energy use were criticized, including the U.S., which is a leading producer of ethanol. The U.S. dismissed the criticism.
World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick said, “This is not a natural catastrophe. It is man-made and can be fixed by us. It does not take complex research. We know what has to be done. We just need action and resources in real time.”
The U.N. estimated that the cost of resolving the food crisis by doubling food production would be $30 billion a year.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the annual cost of the war in Iraq has been as follows:
FY $ Billion