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Shafer talks of U.S. answer to food crisis

June 3, 2008 at 7:30 PM

ROME, June 3 (UPI) -- Food security is an international matter demanding an international response, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Shafer told a food crisis summit in Rome Tuesday.

"We see the current price crisis playing out in streets and homes around the world, and it demands our swift action," Shafer said in a speech to the U.N.-sponsored event

The United States coordinates works closely with U.N. agencies, G8 countries, the World Bank and international organizations, he said. The U.S. government projects spending $5 billion in 2008 and 2009 to combat global hunger.

The United States has a three-pronged strategy to address rising food prices, Shafer said.

First, he said, the United States will focus on immediate and expanded humanitarian help for countries unable to reach minimum nutrition standards.

Second, he said, the United States will support measures to attack underlying causes of food availability in developing countries.

Third, the United States will propose that countries consider strategies to expand research, promote science-based regulations and encourage innovative technology, he said.

"No single nation or organization can solve this problem," Shafer said. "It will take a collective effort."

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