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02 Nov 2014 description

After a rainy season lull, South Sudan’s warring parties are preparing for major offensives with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) this week launching attacks on Bentiu, capital of oil-producing Unity state (see our recent Conflict Alert). Hardliners in the government and the SPLA-IO appear determined to settle the conflict through war.

27 Oct 2014 description

Global Highlights

  • During the third quarter of 2014, the global cereal price index decreased by 13% year-on-year, down by 11% compared to the previous quarter.

  • Real prices of maize have fallen by almost a third since last year. They are down 18% from Q2-2014, reaching levels seen in early 2010.

  • Real prices of wheat dropped by 18% from Q2 to Q3-2014, falling to mid-2010 levels.

  • Real prices of rice are up 7% since Q2-2014.

02 Oct 2014 description

The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria’s north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS.

13 Sep 2014 description

The Tsunami Warning System established under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in the Indian Ocean following the December 2004 disaster is functioning effectively. This was demonstrated in a simulation exercise conducted on 9 and 10 September 2014, with the participation of 24 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim*.

According to the preliminary results of the simulated alert, all of the participating countries received timely tsunami advisory messages, and no delays were reported.

05 Sep 2014 description

Ten years after the strongest tsunami in living memory in 2004, 24 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim* will participate in a large scale simulation exercise organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO on 9 and 10 September to test the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. The goal is to measure the capacity and response times of the various stakeholders involved to address such rare but potentially destructive events.

02 Sep 2014 description

The fight for control of Libya between the Misrata-led Islamist-leaning coalition and the Zintan-led forces is escalating by the day. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in over six weeks of clashes and heavy artillery fire. The Misrata side emerged victorious in the battle over Tripoli’s international airport, taking control of the capital, and made advances around Benghazi, but the larger political divide remains unresolved.

02 Aug 2014 description

Increasing Israeli-Palestinian tensions culminated in Israel launching "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza in early July (see our latest report and commentary). The assault, which started as an aerial campaign and was later extended to include ground operations, reportedly killed more than 1,400 Palestinians throughout the month while 64 Israelis were killed in clashes inside the Gaza Strip and by Hamas rocket fire. Several attempts at reaching a ceasefire agreement failed in July.

01 Aug 2014 description

Global Highlights

• During the first quarter of 2014, the global cereal price index decreased by 12% year-on-year, and slightly increased by 2% compared to the previous quarter.

• Real prices of maize were relatively stable and only 2% higher than the previous quarter of 2014.
Compared to the same period of the previous year, maize prices are low (-28%).

• Real prices of wheat increased significantly by 9% from Q1 to Q2-2014. More recently, for June, prices are down due to an increase in global supply and production.

02 May 2014 description

Global Highlights

• During the first quarter of 2014, the global cereal price index decreased by 19% year-on-year, and slightly increased by 1% compared to the previous quarter.

• Nominal prices of maize (-31%), wheat (-8%) and rice (-23%) are significantly below a year ago due to strong supplies.

• Real prices2 of maize are up by 5% since the last quarter of 2013 given a surge in demand and high trade forecasts against comfortable stock levels after 2013 record crops.