‘Our Land, Our Lives’: Time out on the global land rush
Land eight times the size of the UK was sold off globally in the last decade, enough to grow food for a billion people, equivalent to the number of people who go hungry in the world each night. More than 60 per cent of investments in agricultural land by foreign investors between 2000 and 2010 were in developing countries with serious hunger problems. However, two-thirds of those investors plan to export everything they produce on that land. Oxfam supports greater investment in agriculture and to small-scale producers; however, the unprecedented rush for land has not been adequately regulated or policed to prevent land grabs. This means that poor people continue to be evicted, often violently, without consultation or compensation. Many lose their homes and are left destitute, without access to the land they rely on. The World Bank must act now to temporarily freeze investments involving large-scale land deals so it can review its advice to developing countries, help set standards for investors, and introduce more robust policies to stop land grabs.