UN chief on the global food crisis

Ban Ki-moon, the head of the United Nations, urged attendees to the U.N.-organized summit in Rome to deal with food security -- a broad term that includes hunger, rising food prices, food production, high oil prices, and climate change. He called on nations to take four immediate steps:

· Make the international trade system work more effectively so more food is available, and at reasonable prices;

· Increase humanitarian aid to cushion the impact of high food prices on vulnerable populations;

· Find a way to boost harvests in the next year and continue investment in agriculture over the long run;

· Help governments struggling to cope with the food crisis through fiscal support.

"Substantial new resources will be needed -- perhaps as much as $15 to $20 billion a year as our efforts build up," Ban said.

The World Food Program announced Wednesday it has given an extra $1.2 billion in aid to 62 countries hardest hit by the global food crisis. The U.N. agency is already providing some $5 billion to 90 million people in 78 countries this year.


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