The World Bank stated that in an action to help ensure vital food security it will increase its support for agriculture to 12 billion dollars in 2009 from $4 billion allocated in 2008.
The World Bank announcement said:
Increases over this two-year period include a near doubling in agricultural support to Africa from 450 million dollars to 800 million dollars, and to Latin America from 250 million dollars to 400 million dollars, while supporting more than 1 billion dollars in new projects in agriculture and rural development in South Asia.
The triple increase in support is driven by the World Bank’s desire to boost agricultural productivity and production following last year’s world food crisis.
A creative project by the BBC World Service is tracking how food prices have been changing since the autumn of last year.
BBC journalists in 8 world cities — Brussels, Washington DC, Skopje, Moscow, Buenos Aries, Jakarta, Delhi, and Nairobi — have identified 5 staple foods for the area where they are based. On a weekly basis, they then go out and purchase these same five items to determine the changing cost of food over time.
Interestingly, as this graph from the BBC site indicates, the four poorer cities — in Africa, Asia, and South America — have all been facing higher price increases since last autumn than the others, with Washington DC and Brussels seeing the biggest drop in prices over the same time period.