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Commodities Brief - Update on the Food Situation in the Sahelian Countries


Unfavorable weather conditions in some of the Sahel countries in 2009 led to significant declines in cereal production. Compared to 2008, the decline in production in 2009 ranged from 11% in Chad to an alarming 30% in Niger. This situation has effectively developed into a new Sahelian food crisis, setting in against the backdrop of relatively high global food prices. Despite a huge drop from their peak in mid 2008, global food prices stabilized at above their precrisis levels (Annex 1). In particular, food prices in some African countries failed to adjust to global trends in the last months, due largely to structural deficits particularly poor infrastructure, and partly due to market inefficiencies.

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