Mozambique and Guinea Bissau amongst countries most vulnerable to price rises

30 May 2008

Rome, Italy, 30 May – Mozambique and Guinea Bissau are amongst the 22 countries most vulnerable to food and fuel price inflation on the international markets, according to figures published Thursday in Rome by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

According to the director-general of the United Nations agency, Jacques Diouf, the current world food scenario is “dramatic” and compromises international targets for eradicating hunger, without a current solution in sight.

“Given teh seriousness of world food supply and the imbalance of demand, grain markets may not recover their stability in the near future. Prices may fall, but are not likely to return to low levels for many years,” Diouf said, asking for “urgent” action by world leaders.

A study entitled, “The Rise in Food Prices: Facts, Prospects, Impacts and Necessary Intervention,” issued Thursday, is one of the documents that are on the table at the high level conference on world food security, which will take place between 3 and 5 June, in Rome, Italy.

According to the FAO, the most vulnerable country is Eritrea, which has a 100 percentd ependenc on fuel imports, 88 percent on grain imports and three quarters of its population is mal-nourished.

In the list of 22 countries – all of them African except for Tajikistan, Haiti, Cambodia and North Korea – those that follow Eritrea are Burundi and the Comoros Islands.

Mozambique and Guinea Bissau are both entirely dependent on fuel imports, but in terms of Grain Mozambique imports 20 percent and Guinea Bissau imports 55 percent.

According to FAO figures, mal-nutrition is currently greater in Mozambique (44 percent) than in Guinea Bissau (39 percent). (macauhub)