Sunday, April 13, 2008

Talks Focus on World Economy, Food Costs

Source: Associated Press

"Talks Focus on World Economy, Food Costs

1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — International finance leaders are working on plans to deal with the economic crisis that has roiled nations and sent food and energy prices soaring.

The World Bank's policy-setting committee was focusing Sunday on the fallout on developing countries, especially poor ones where the agency is trying to help reduce poverty. The session marked the end of spring meetings for the bank and the International Monetary Fund.

As the committee began its meeting, Britain's secretary for international development, Douglas Alexander, spoke of the need for coordinated response to the market turbulence and commodity prices.

"It will be important for the World Bank, the IMF and the U.N. to urgently work together to lead the development of an international response to address all the elements of this crisis," he said. "We need short-term action to deal with immediate hardship..."

"...The development group Oxfam, a frequent IMF critic, said rich countries are largely responsible for the food crisis because they have cut aid to developing countries and encouraged biofuel production, which the IMF says is responsible for almost half the increase in the demand for food crops.

The Washington-based IMF and World Bank were established 64 years ago to respectively regulate the global economy and provide aid to poor countries to reduce poverty..."

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