Bread for The World: Hungry and Poor People Hit Hard By Collapse of Global Trade Negotiations

August 4, 2008
4:22 PM

CONTACT: Bread for The World
Bill Malone 202-464-8180
Shawnda Hines 301-960-4913

Hungry and Poor People Hit Hard By Collapse of Global Trade Negotiations
WASHINGTON - August 4 - Bread for the World president David Beckmann today warned that the recent collapse of global trade negotiations, called the Doha Round, will adversely affect the world's hungry and poor people in more ways than the negotiators realize.  

Even before the current hunger crisis, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that 862 million people go to bed hungry. Today, the World Bank estimates that rising food prices are putting an additional 100 million people at risk of falling deeper into poverty.

"The trading nations of the world put protectionism ahead of hungry and poor people and it worsened their plight," said Beckmann. "That is the real tragedy of the collapse of the Doha Round during this global hunger crisis."

The Doha Round reached an impasse after the United States, China, and India were unable to agree on when developing countries can impose emergency tariffs on products like sugar, cotton, and rice in case of a sudden rise in imports. The United States wanted to allow emergency tariffs when a country's imports rapidly increase by 40 percent, while China and India insisted that this threshold should be 10 percent.

"This latest Doha Round was a golden opportunity to reduce trade-distorting farm subsidies in wealthy nations, especially in light of soaring crop prices and record prosperity among European and American farmers," said Beckmann. "We need a global economy that works for everyone, rich and poor alike, and not just for a wealthy few."


Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, we provide help and opportunity far beyond the communities where we live.