UN warns of more volatile food prices
11 October 2011, 15:47
Rome - Food prices are likely to become more volatile in coming years, increasing the risk that more poor people in import-dependent countries will go hungry, the United Nations said in an annual report on food insecurity published on Monday.
Global food price indices hit record highs in February and were a factor in the Arab Spring of unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.
Prices have since eased but the UN report said economic uncertainty, low cereal reserves, closer links between energy and agriculture markets and rising risks of weather shocks were likely to cause more dramatic price swings in the future.
“Food price volatility featuring high prices is likely to continue and possibly increase,” the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development said in the joint report.
The report found that many countries in Africa and other import-dependent regions continued to suffer problems caused by the world food and economic crises of 2006-2008.
And it said crises such as the current famine in the Horn of Africa were challenging the UN goal of cutting the number of people suffering hunger to about 600 million people by 2015, compared to 1.02 billion in 2009.
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