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The Global Food Price Crisis: Lessons and Ideas for Relief Planners and Managers

Working papers

Written by John Mitchell

​A sharp increase in food prices over the past couple of years, intensifying in early 2008, has raised serious concerns about food and nutrition for many poor people in developing countries.

The aim of this paper is to assist those working in agencies undertaking operational relief and recovery work in the context of high food prices. It distils ideas and lessons from research and learning initiatives concerned with responses to high food prices as well as evaluations and synthesis reports contained in the ALNAP Evaluative Reports Database (ERD).

It also draws on ideas and lessons from aid delivery in other rapidly changing contexts, as well as from latest research on operational delivery.

The response to the food-price crisis requires actions both to improve the quality of responses to food crises in general and also to address issues specific to rises in food prices. This paper focuses mainly on the latter, while recognizing that any response to higher prices will require general improvements in programming quality as well as specific efforts. 

Ben Ramalingam, Karen Proudlock and John Mitchell