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UNCTAD Report Highlights Impacts of High Commodity and Food Prices on Developing Countries

23 April 2011: The Commodities and Development Report 2012 of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), released during the 13th session of UNCTAD, shows that developing countries suffer from high prices for commodities and food, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs) that are net importers of food.

The report states that factors such as financial speculation in commodities and increasing diversion of agricultural land to biofuel crops have led to a period of sustained increases in commodity prices and increased price volatility, which in turn have increased the vulnerability of poor families in developing countries.

The report recommends: investing in national and regional food reserves to help food-insecure countries; reconsidering the shift to "finance-driven globalization," as it applies to commodities; adjusting fiscal and taxation policies to help developing countries reap stable, long-term economic benefits from commodities exports; and measures to improve the situations of small farmers and other small commodity producers in poor countries. [UN Press Release] [Publication: UNCTAD Commodities and Development Report 2012] [Website of UNCTAD XIII]