MPDD Working Paper on High food and oil prices and their impact on the achievement of MDG 1 in Asia and the Pacific

Working paper30 Jun 2011

This paper estimates the impact of the high food prices of 2010 on income poverty and the achievement of MDG 1 in Asia and the Pacific. It also estimates the impacts of high price during 2011 under various scenarios for the prices of food and oil. We find that although the high food prices of 2010 have not caused an increase in poverty in the region, they slowed down the rate of poverty reduction - the estimated number of poor decreased by 24.5 million people between 2009 and 2010, compared with 43.8 million people if staple food prices had not increased above domestic rates of inflation. By detailing the methodology and assumptions used to produce our estimates, the paper also highlights the need for broader and more open discussion on methodological issues to provide policymakers and poverty data users with a better understanding of the limitations of any such exercise.