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ALEXANDRIA - 17-19 April 2008 - The GSI drew together journalists to its third regional media forum in Egypt, focused on food security and the role that biofuel policies play in driving up food prices. Journalists from across the Middle East heard from a variety of regional and international experts, on the factors that were contributing to sky-rocketing food prices. One of the key issues discussed was the expanding production and consumption of biofuels, spurred by subsidies and mandates in Europe and North America, as documented in the GSI’s series of reports on biofuel subsidies. The forum also allowed journalists to develop investigative story ideas on the links between subsidies and sustainable development, with the help of experts and senior journalists in the region.

The event was the third in a series of regional forums organized by the the GSI and the IPS, aiming to equip journalists with an understanding of how subsidies function, the impacts they have at local, national and international levels and how they might be optimized.


Understanding the crisis of soaring international food prices
Maurice Saade, Policy Officer, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations; This presentation charts the historical trends that have led to higher food prices, and predicts what future trends may occur.
Placing the food-price crisis in the context of global economic trends
Horst Siebert, Professor of Economics at the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center; This presentation examines the rising cost of food in the context of global economic trends. It explains some of the fundamental causes of higher food prices and suggests remedies.

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