John Holmes

John Holmes is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and had been the Coordinator of the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis up to 31 December 2008. He also served as British Ambassador in Paris, from 2001 to 2007, and in Lisbon, from 1999 to 2001.

During the past two decades, population growth, improvement in incomes and diversification of diets have steadily increased the demand for food. Prior to 2000, food prices were in decline, largely through record harvests. At the same time, however, public and private investment in agriculture, especially in the production of staple food, decreased, which led to stagnant or declining crop yields in most developing countries.