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Clinton seeks world food support; Oxfam chides lack of aid

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today asked the world to join the United States in addressing rising food prices and long-term agricultural development in the Third World, but Oxfam, the international charity, said the Obama administration has not lived up to commitments it has made for global food security.

In a speech at the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome, Clinton said countries should not reimpose the export bans and taxes that worsened the food price crisis in 2008.

She also noted that President Obama had pledged a contribution of $3.5 billion to a $22 billion fund that governments promised in 2009 for an international agriculture development fund.

Through its “Feed the Future” program, Clinton said, the United States hopes to raise the incomes of 18 million people in developing countries.

But Oxfam America said in a news release from Washington that the United States and other governments are far behind in dispersing those promised funds. Oxfam did not cite any numbers.

Oxfam policy adviser Eric Munoz said the U.S government also needs to address commodity speculation, biofuels incentives and trade issues that affect global food prices.