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Poorer nations hurt from food prices

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: President Bush will meet with finance ministers at the G-7 meeting in Washington. The IMF -- that's the International Monetary Fund -- and the World Bank will also convene. Britain's prime minister is calling for a globally coordinated effort to restore confidence in the world financial system. Also on the agenda will be aid for developing nations, but as Nancy Marshall Genzer reports, the quote "wealthy" nations, they've got their own problems right now.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: The IMF says rising food and energy prices are taking a heavy toll on some developing nations. They're using more of their foreign reserves to buy staples. They can go the IMF for a loan, but it will need more money from wealthy nations to make those loans.

MIT economics professor Simon Johnson says rich countries should be willing to help to avoid future crises.

Simon Johnson: You have to spend a little bit of money now in order to avoid having to spend a lot more money later.

But G-7 members are mired in the financial crisis.

Moyara Ruehsen is an economist at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. She says there's only one solution:

Moyara Ruehsen: We do definitely need to bring Russia and China to the table. This is no longer a G-7 conversation. We need to make it a G-9 conversation.

Both Ruehsen and Johnson say the IMF will be able to rally wealthy nations to help the developing world, despite critics who say it's losing its clout.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.

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