Futures prices for food staples rise by 50% as droughts hit harvests. The world is battling a record number of food-related emergencies and facing US$4.1bn funding shortfall. Millions of the world’s poorest people will face devastation from today’s rocketing food prices because the global food system is fatally flawed and policy-makers can’t find the courage to fix it. Policy-makers have taken cheap food for granted for nearly 30 years. Those days are gone.
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Did you know that 90 per cent of the global grain trade is controlled by just four companies? Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus – collectively referred to as "the ABCD companies" – are central to the modern agri-food system. This report considers the ABCDs in relation to several global issues pressing on agriculture: the "financialization" of both commodity trade and agricultural production; the emergence of global competitors to the ABCDs, in particular from Asia; and some of the implications of large-scale industrial biofuels.
Every time you open your fridge and food cupboards, you step into the global food system. Sounds odd, but it’s true. The system is an enormously complex web of all the people, businesses, organisations and governments involved in the production, distribution, sale and consumption of food. Irrespective of who we are, or where we are on the planet, the food we eat is made available by this global food system.
The needs in Dadaab, which hosts over 465,000 people, remain urgent, but humanitarian agencies do not have sufficient funds to provide essential services for the care and protection of encamped populations in 2012. If more funds are not received immediately, the situation in the camps will deteriorate as vital health, nutrition, education, shelter, WASH and protection activities will either have to scale back or stop.
The 2011 drought across the Horn of Africa was, in some places, the worst to hit the region for 60 years. It was first predicted about a year beforehand, when sophisticated regional early warning systems began to alert the world to the possibility of drier-than-normal conditions in key pastoral areas of Ethiopia, Somalia and Northern Kenya, linked to the effects of the climatic phenomenon La Niña This report provides an update into the crisis one year on.
Modern weapons and military equipment cannot be made or maintained without the parts and components that are traded around the world in a globalised market. Without regulating this trade alongside the trade in complete weapons, it will be impossible to reduce the impact of irresponsible arms transfers on human rights, security, and development. Between 2008 and 2011, the global trade in parts and components was worth at least $9.7bn. This vast stockpile of weapons parts ranged from high-end components for aircraft to parts for small arms and light weapons (SALW). Without this huge movement of parts and components, the arms trade as we know it could not exist.
This report argues that the illicit and irresponsible global trade in arms and ammunition weakens the ability of governments to sustain progress in development. It says that military expenditure in fragile and conflict-affected countries grew by 15 per cent between 2009 - 2010, while Official Development Assistance (ODA) grew by only 9 per cent. With just weeks to go before diplomats meet at the United Nations, Oxfam says that a specific criteria on development as part of the Arms Trade Treaty is one of the best ways to ensure that arms sales do not have a negative impact on socio-economic development.
Guns are useless without bullets. An Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) that does not control ammunition will not achieve its purposes. Several countries, including the USA, China, Egypt and Syria, are arguing that ammunition should be excluded from the ATT. Some of these countries say the sheer volume of trade makes it too difficult to monitor. This would be a colossal mistake. There are now several reasonably simple and effective ways to track ammunition transfers. Inclusion in the ATT would significantly strengthen these mechanisms and the resolve to implement them. Failure would undermine what best practice already exists.
This report examines the influence of the PNG LNG Project (LNGP) in the Hela region of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Its main purpose is to investigate immediate social changes and impacts associated with the LNGP. It focuses particularly on threats to human security, but also includes broader LNGP concerns of importance to the local people in the Hela region.
The absence of comprehensive, international legal obligations to prevent irresponsible transfers of arms has resulted in at least $2.2bn worth of arms and ammunition being imported by countries under arms embargoes between 2000 and 2010. This briefing paper argues that in order to have real impact, a prospective Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) must include legally binding criteria that prevent arms transfers to abusers of human rights or into situations where there is a substantial risk that they will undermine development or exacerbate armed violence.