Alimentos para todos

BRUSELAS -- ¿Qué debe hacer el G-20 para prepararnos con miras a afrontar crisis alimentarias, ahora y en el futuro? El Presidente del Banco Mundial, Robert Zoellick, enumeró recientemente nueve medidas que el G-20 debería adoptar durante su actual presidencia francesa. Comprenden desde la mejora de la información sobre las existencias de cereales y la preparación de nuevos métodos de pronóstico meteorológico hasta el fortalecimiento de las redes de seguridad social para los pobres, pasando por la ayuda a los pequeños agricultores a fin de que aprovechen las licitaciones de compradores humanitarios, como, por ejemplo, el Programa Mundial de Alimentos.

Si bien son dignas de beneplácito, dichas medidas abordan sólo los síntomas de las deficiencias del sistema alimentario mundial, sin tocar las causas profundas. Podrían mitigar las consecuencias de las subidas máximas de los precios, pero son insuficientes para evitar la reaparición de las crisis, cosa que se puede lograr, si el G-20 actúa en relación con ocho prioridades.

En primer lugar, el G-20 debe apoyar la capacidad de los países para alimentarse. Desde comienzo del decenio de 1990, el gasto alimentario de muchos países pobres ha aumentado cinco o seis veces, no sólo por el crecimiento demográfico, sino también por haberse centrado en la agricultura destinada a la exportación. Una falta de inversión en la agricultura que alimenta a las comunidades locales vuelve a dichos países vulnerables ante las crisis internacionales de precios, además de a la inestabilidad de los tipos de cambio.

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