Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Rationing the Rations

The director of the UN's World Food Programme has said it is considering plans to ration food aid because of rising prices and a shortage of funds. The WFP needed increased contributions from donors to make sure it could meet the needs of those who already rely on it.

Food prices rose 40% last year because of rising demand and other factors.
Earlier this month, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said the rising price of cereals such as wheat and maize had become a "major global concern".

The FAO estimated poor countries would see their cereal import bill rise by more than a third this year. Africa as a whole is expected to see a 49% increase.

"If food is twice as expensive, we can bring half as much in for the same price and the same contribution," the director of the UN's World Food Programme said "...In some of these developing countries, prices have gone up 80% for staple food," she added. "When you see those kinds of increases, they are simply priced out of the food markets."

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