The world food situation is currently being rapidly redefined by new driving forces. Income growth, climate change, high energy prices, globalization, and urbanization are transforming food consumption, production, and markets. The influence of the private sector in the world food system, especially the leverage of food retailers, is also rapidly increasing. Changes in food availability, rising commodity prices, and new producer-consumer linkages have crucial implications for the livelihoods of poor and foodinsecure people. Analyzing and interpreting recent trends and emerging challenges in the world food situation is essential to provide policymakers with the necessary information to mobilize adequate responses at the local, national, regional, and international levels. A mix of policy actions that avoids damage and fosters positive responses is required, including the following actions that should be undertaken immediately: Developed countries should facilitate flexible responses to drastic price changes by eliminating trade barriers and programs that set aside agriculture resources, except in welldefined conservation areas. A world confronted with more scarcity of food needs to trade more – not less – to spread opportunities fairly. Developing countries should rapidly increase investment in rural infrastructure and market institutions in order to reduce agricultural-input access constraints, since these are hindering a stronger production response.