Economic and Social Development stream

policy briefs


Economic and Social Perspectives

Economic and Social Perspectives provide guidance on today’s global policy challenges related to food and agriculture. Written in non-technical language, they explain why policy makers need to address a particular issue and how they might do so.

Recent Briefs

February 2011

The 2007-08 Rice Price Crisis

How policies drove up prices... and how they can help stabilise the market

After increasing slowly and steadily from historic lows, world rice prices tripled in just six months during 2007-08. The price surge caused much anxiety because so many of the world’s poor are rice consumers. And it caught many by surprise [...]

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December 2010

Price Volatility in Agricultural Markets

Evidence, impact on food security and policy responses

Recent bouts of extreme price volatility in global agricultural markets portend rising and more frequent threats to world food security. To reduce countries’ vulnerability, policies should improve market functioning and equip countries to better cope with the adverse effects of [...]

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October 2010

Making the Food Aid Convention meet the realities of the 21st century

Some proposals for more effective interventions

Emergency situations have become increasingly frequent over the past 25 years, often coupled with acute and chronic food insecurity in the affected countries. International responses to these crises have generally focused on addressing immediate humanitarian needs, as evidenced by the [...]

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September 2010

Global hunger declining, but still unacceptably high

International hunger targets difficult to achieve

At close to one billion, the number of undernourished people in the world remains unacceptably high in 2010 despite an expected decline – the first in 15 years. This decline is largely attributable to a more favourable economic environment in [...]

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Interview with Kostas Stamoulis.


Economic and Social Development Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy

Telephone: +39-06-57051
Fax: +39-06-57053152
Email: ES-Policy-Briefs [at]