Hunger and Markets is the third volume of the UN World Food Programme's World Hunger Series - created to help promote a better understanding of the choices confronting leaders as they work to fight hunger. It appears at a crucial time, with food prices at high levels, a severe global financial crisis and vulnerable households around the world endangering their future health, education and productivity by reducing both the quality and the quantity of their food intake.
Hunger and Markets explores the complex and multifaceted interactions between the availability of and access to food and the operations of markets. The structure and dynamics of food markets and the threats and opportunities markets generate are crucial for the access to food for billions of people. Markets are also critical in averting or mitigating food shortages and hunger by adjusting to shocks, reducing vulnerability and coping with crises. Whether markets help or harm the hungry poor is a function of markets' institutions, infrastructure and policies.
This volume analyzes the workings of markets in order to identify the sources of market failures in addressing hunger and malnutrition, and to highlight the ways in which they can be improved. The report sets out the ways in which programme design and policy formulation can build on the strengths of markets to prevent possible negative effects, and will be essential reading for all those involved in the fight against world hunger.
Published with World Food Programme
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) was set up over 45 years ago to provide emergency food assistance, to stop hunger and thus help break the cycle of poverty. In 2008, WFP food assistance reached nearly 100 million people in about 80 countries.
Part I: Setting the Stage 1. Hunger 2. Markets 3. High Food Prices: Trends, Causes and Impacts Part II: Analysis 4. Households, Hunger and Markets 5. Access to Markets 6 .Availability of and Access to Nutritious Food 7. Vulnerability, Risk and Markets 8. Markets in Emergencies Part III: Actions and the Way Forward 9. Making Markets Work for the Hungry Poor and Supplementing Them Where Necessary 10. The Way Forward: Ten Priority Actions to Help Markets Break the Hunger-Poverty Trap Part IV: Resource Compendium Notes Part V: Annexes