Special Reoport
How to Feed the World

All the indications show that the current crisis will not be temporary. Unless firm global actions are taken immediately, the crisis will deepen and expand in other directions.

The rise of oil prices to unprecedented levels, climatic changes intensifying droughts, floods and cyclones, the increasing popularity of biofuels and the depletion of global food reserves have all combined to cause the current food shortage and inflation. A decline in global poverty in large countries like China, India, Indonesia and Bangladesh, which make up nearly half the world population, has led to higher consumption of food grain among newly better-off people, also raising prices. This has hit the poor, and particularly poor children, very hard.

Microcredit Summit Campaign
Hopes to Reach 100 Million Poorest This Year

Microloans to the poor around the world went to 133 million in 2006, up from 13 million just nine years ago, according to a report released in December 2007 by the Microcredit Summit Campaign (MSC). The dramatic progress was also evident in the Campaign's focus on loans to the very poor, those living on less than a US$1 a day, which reached 93 million families in 2006, just shy of the Campaign's goal of reaching 100 million poorest.