High Food Prices Hurt World's Poor

Relief groups find resources, ability to help stretched thin
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2007 5:36 PM CDT
High Food Prices Hurt World's Poor
Somali displaced children wait for the World Food Program (WFP), distribution of food on the outskirt of Mogadishu, Sunday, May 20, 2007. At least two civilians died in an explosion on Sunday in a northern district of the Somali capital after a bomb was detonated as the mayor's convoy approached it,...   (Associated Press)

For the world's poorest people, the quantity and quality of food are increasingly at risk. Wholesale prices of  basic foods are 21% higher now than in 2005, with grain surging more than 30%. What's more, the total volume of food delivered by US-funded groups has declined 52% in the last 5 years, reports the Christian Science Monitor.

The sharp rise in costs has numerous causes: the increasing use of grains as biofuels; the demand for higher-value food as millions of Chinese and Indians emerge from poverty; low inventories worldwide, and climbing oil prices, which make fertilizer, refrigeration, and transportation more costly. Aid groups also say they have shrinking cushions to allow for natural disasters such as earthquakes. (More poverty stories.)

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