For the first time since 1973, the world is being hit by a combination of record oil and food prices. Such record oil and food prices are a destabilizing element for the global economy because of their potentially severe growth, inflation and distributional effects. In terms of their impact on income distribution, inflation and poverty, high food prices are of greater and more immediate concern than high fuel prices. However, the challenge of crafting appropriate policy responses to the food crisis is made much harder in a context of rising oil prices and ensuing fiscal and balance of payments pressures. The next few months will be critical for stemming this joint crisis and avoiding any potential ripple effects.