Food crisis: World Bank urges countries to join hands

Based on World Bank data, 40 percent of the global population lives near river basins.

Updated: Aug 31, 2012, 15:40 PM IST

Jakarta: A senior official at the World Bank (WB) said that enhanced international cooperation on water management in trans-boundary river basins would overcome global food crisis in the future, local media reported on Friday.

"It has been found that such international cooperation in management of water resources would bring economic, environmental and social benefits," World Bank Water Anchor manager Julia Bucknall said in a statement released by the WB.

Global cooperation in management of river basins will help solve the problems of food and water shortages in many regions. It will also help many countries tackle food price volatility and energy shortage, she said in the statement released on Thursday.

The international organisation has urged governments worldwide to make efforts to optimise the use of water resources in view of water crisis across several regions of the world.

"The saved resources would help boost food security as population increases and domestic and industrial demand rises," she said in the statement.

Based on World Bank data, 40 percent of the global population lives near river basins and 80 percent of the world`s river basins are trans-boundary in nature.

Moreover, international cooperation in management of river basins is likely to reduce border conflicts, enhance the rivers` sustainability, and help countries have better access to external markets.

"Two-third of the world is likely to face water crisis by 2025, so better management of water resources is necessary to tackle food and energy shortages," she added.

Earlier, Minister of Agriculture Suswono stated that Indonesia need not worry about the Food and Agricultural Organisation`s recent prediction that the world might face a food crisis again.

"The warning from the organisation is from a global perspective," he was quoted by the Antara news service as saying.

"For Indonesia, there is no need to worry about food crisis because the country has the potential to meet food requirements of its population, particularly as far as rice is concerned," the minister added.